As I stepped up onto the platform and began preaching the first of two services, I felt fine. We were experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit in a very special way. I was impressed with God’s heart for this church and their hearts for Him. In just a few minutes, I began feeling pressure in my chest. My jaw began to ache and I had a hard time catching a full breath. I was pausing and exhaling more than normal trying to make it through the message. I did not know what was happening. A heart attack was the last thing on my mind. I finally made it to the end of the message and handed the service over to Scott.
After I finished preaching, I walked out of the sanctuary and had an usher find a quiet place for me to rest. Several members of the leadership team met me to offer assistance. One of the team worked in the local hospital Emergency Room. After he interviewed me about my symptoms I said, “Two plus two equals a heart attack, right?” He agreed and dialed 911. Within minutes I found myself in an ambulance in route to the Sky Lakes Medical Center. Later that afternoon a clogged artery to my heart received a stent and my blood flow was restored. No damage to my heart took place. God is good.
I believe I experienced an attack on my life. I now have a personal testimony of God’s beautiful intervention. I’m glad I wasn’t on some hike in the middle of nowhere with no one available to help. During this event I was surrounded by the most amazing people of God both in the church and at the medical center.
As I sit here resting up, this may sound like a personal testimony, but there is more to this than just the description of a challenging incident and my medical procedure. I felt impressed that God wants to use this event as a prophetic image for me and for others to describe what He wants to do in all of us in the coming year. In 2015, God wants to restore the health of the heart of His Church. We can limit the flow of God’s life through us by allowing our spiritual arteries to become clogged with the plaque of our own brokenness and fear. God wants to open up these clogged pathways to our heart and remove the blockages that prevent a free flow of His love and life through us.
As I lay on the operating table, my cardiologist, Dr. Kubac, guided a wire deep into my chest and inserted a stent into my clogged artery opening up the blood flow to my heart. I was back in recovery in less than an hour. The entire process was amazing.
On this New Years Day I celebrate my 65th birthday. I will enter the New Year with an open artery and a healthy heart. I am going to reexamine some aspects of my lifestyle to cooperate with long-term health. Jan has become my knowledgeable and loving nurse as I take a few days off to rest.
As you enter the New Year take a moment to review your life to make sure no spiritual plaque is forming due to an unresolved toxic attitude or choosing to believe a lie about your destiny. If clogging has already occurred, don’t resent the God-surgery intended to keep your heart from being damaged and provide you with the strength needed to engage a new season in your life.
Happy New Year!