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“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace,” Exodus 14:14 NKJV
July 29, 2016, started as a normal day for Birmingham Firefighter Andrew Johnson. At 1:45 a.m., Johnson and his team at Station 19 in East Lake, responded to a house fire call. As he was going deeper into the burning house, he went to take a deeper breath. “When I took that deep breath, my regulator fell off. I was in panic mode,” Johnson says, explaining that he became confused because of the darkness and carbon monoxide which led him to collapse. He was found unconscious under a table in the home. “Next thing I know, I woke up 12 days later in the ICU.”
“The burns were so severe, and the infection was so bad, my lungs were wanting to collapse,” Johnson says. Treatment was difficult because of the severe damage to Johnson’s lungs. For days, while Johnson was heavily sedated, the prognosis was uncertain. Johnson’s wife, Crystal, remembers praying for God’s will to be done- whatever that may be. During those tumultuous days, Crystal clung to the promise found in Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
Johnson says that his hospital room had glass walls and his wife wrote Scripture verses on those walls. “People walked into my room and felt life,” Johnson explains, adding, “It wasn’t my wife, it wasn’t anybody. It was Christ who we had our faith in.” The body of Christ surrounded Johnson and his family during his long recovery. They received cards from churches, fire departments from all over the country. Hundreds of people visited the hospital and prayer vigils were held.
Johnson believes there was a spiritual battle happening during his 12 days in the ICU. God heard the prayers of His people and restored Johnson’s life and health. Due to his injuries from July 29, his 13.5 years as a firefighter ended. He now actively shares his faith story with the community. He also serves as the Children’s Minister at North Highland Baptist Church in Warrior, Ala. †
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