“The Heart Issue”
Published 10:01 am Monday, April 18, 2022
As we stood in the waiting room at the hospital, my brother-in-law, Jim, said to me, “It’s amazing what can happen in 24.” A moment can change the course of life and impact every aspect of a person’s existence. This past week was one of those moments for our family.
Early Monday morning around 2:00am my phone rang. On the other end was Michelle’s mother. She was panicked. Larry, Michelle’s father, was having severe chest pains. We told her to call 911 and we would be right over. We jumped up, threw on some regular clothes and literally ran out the door. When we arrived at their house, Larry was sitting in a chair in terrible pain. EMS arrived and began to assess the situation. The EKG did not show any signs of a heart attack or issue but they wanted to take Larry and have him checked out. In a few minutes we were pulling up to St. Luke’s Hospital.
Larry was taken into the emergency department where the medical staff started working with him as we were in the waiting area. After some time, tests and blood work, there was no sign of a heart issue showing up but the physician said, something is just not right here. So, he decided to keep Larry for a little longer to observe him. After some time passed, Larry started having pains again in his shoulder and arm. At this point another EKG was completed and this time it signaled something was not right in the heart patterns. The Doctor made the call to have Larry transferred to Spartanburg Regional Hospital.
After a helicopter ride, Larry was whisked back to the heart department where they did a cardiac cath. Before Mary, Michelle and myself could make the drive to Spartanburg, the doctor was on the phone telling us that Larry had three blocked arteries unable to be stented and he needed bypass surgery. Within a few hours, Larry was on his way into the operating room for triple bypass surgery.
Less than 24 hours prior, Larry and Mary were at our house talking, laughing and visiting with us. There were no signs or symptoms of any issue and no indication that anything was wrong with Larry. We could not, however, see what was going on in the inside. In a very short period of time, life took a turn.
What was projected to be a six hour surgery ended up only being 3 1/2 hours. Larry came through surgery and is recovering; to God be the glory. At the time of writing this article, he is still at the hospital. I am actually writing this article from the hospital waiting room. The past week has been a roller coaster of a ride. There have been some very high highs and some very low lows. Our faith has been tested as we have endured the storm but God has brought us this far.
The outpouring of love and support by the amazing people at St. Luke’s Hospital, the wonderful congregation of Columbus Baptist Church and the community has been humbling. It has been the prayers, cards, texts, emails and phone calls that has helped to carry us through. When our family has been weak, it has been others who have shored us up. And to all of you, we say, “Thank you!”
But what is the spiritual point here?
My father-in-law had a physical heart issue. On a spiritual level, every one of us has a heart issue. You cannot see it, but it is there. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick: who can understand it?” Our hearts are in need of the Great Physician who can heal, restore and make new our hearts that have been stained with sin. Yes, as good as we think we are, our goodness cannot fix our heart issue. Sin has done a number on our hearts and it takes One greater than us to correct the issue. Only the precious blood of Christ can repair our spiritual heart condition. Ezekiel 36:26 says, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
God stands ready to make our hearts new. All we have to do is come to Him and ask God to change our hearts. God is faithful and will do just that. If you have never accepted Christ as your Lord, then you have a spiritual heart issue that needs to be addressed. You don’t have to make an appointment or wait, you can call on Jesus anytime from anywhere and He will heal your heart. All you have to do is ask. He loves you and wants to give you a new heart. Don’t delay, call upon Jesus today and He will work a miracle in your heart.
By Pastor Timothy Fortune