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As a writer, needle artist and photographer, I invite you to share my pursuits with me on this site. Among other things, there is a weekly post called “D-mail” that examines the spiritual meaning in current stories, both personal and news events.  I invite your comments at  cathycongerblog@gmail.com

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.”  N. Platt

Scripture: John 4:13-14, Ecclesiastes 1:14


Healing Heart Disease

The week before I left on vacation, my brother, who is 48 years old and quite healthy, had a cardiac arrest while playing softball. Under any circumstance except the one he was in, he would have died, but the third baseman had just completed his CPR refresher course that morning and the ball diamond was in a county park where the park police, who carry a defibrillator, were just cruising past as it happened. They resuscitated him and an ambulance arrived in minutes. At the hospital, the cardiologist decided to do a cardiac catheterization, even though my brother was stable and showed no signs of heart injury and had had no symptoms up until his collapse. She was shocked to find that four of the vessels that feed the heart were completely blocked! So, the next morning he had quadruple bypass surgery and is doing amazingly well today. Praise the Lord!

My brother is alive because his guardian angels were working overtime. Although his deadly heart condition had been silent, his heart was in desperate need of repair. That is the case with a lot of us in a spiritual sense. Though we hide the emptiness and pain in our hearts from the world - or even from ourselves- the Great Physician knows it is there. He is waiting to do the surgery required to mend our hearts. Our vessels are clogged with the loneliness that no relationship seems to remove, the emptiness that never goes away for very long, no matter what we do to fill up our life, the “what’s it all for?” questions about life that make everything seem ultimately so meaningless. It’s like there’s this voice inside us that seems to be saying, “Something’s wrong here. No matter what we try, we just can’t get enough oxygen.” We keep thinking the next relationship will heal our “heart disease”, the next thrill, the next accomplishment, the next spiritual experience, the next “toy,” the next milestone. But every time we think we’re healed, we find we need more.
After a while, we just assume that this hollowness inside, this lesion in our heart, is just how it is. The Bible describes King Solomon as the richest and wisest man of his time. He had the resources to do it all. Here’s his conclusion: “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14) But just accepting that pain in your heart is ultimately deadly. It needs to be treated. It needs to be healed by the One who made you to belong to Him. The brilliant French physicist, Blaise Pascal, concluded that “inside every man is a God-shaped vacuum.”

All the sin in your life and mine, all the wrong things we’ve done, are eating away at our heart, blocking the vessels that feed it and keep it beating normally. Until that’s forgiven and removed, the God we were made for cannot do the life-giving surgery we need. If my brother had arrived at the hospital, knowing that there was something deadly wrong with his heart, and turned away the cardiac surgeon who was able to repair the damage, he would have been given a death sentence. It would only have been a matter of a short time before his heart would have stopped beating again and killed him. How foolish and tragic that would have been!

In John 4: 13-14, Jesus is at a well, talking with a woman who has tried to repair her “heart disease” with one relationship after another. Jesus says to her, and to us, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst … the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

“Thirsty again” - that’s “heart disease”. “Never thirst” - that’s the vessels in your heart finally unclogged as Jesus erases every sin of your life with His amazing forgiveness. He can do that because He did all the dying for all the sinning we’ve ever done. It’s paid for, which means our blocked heart vessels can be cleaned out and repaired today and the God of the universe can finally move in. Our lifetime search will be over. But we have to reach out to Jesus. We’ve got to tell Him that we’re done running our lives, and that we’re trusting completely in His death for our sin. If you are suffering from “heart disease”, don’t wait until you arrest and die in your sin. Let the Heart Surgeon give you a new life today.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for sparing my brother’s life and for putting all the human life-savers in place just where and when he needed them. I pray that anyone who reads this will realize that their spiritual heart vessels are blocked by sin and desperately in need of the “heart surgery” that will give them new life. Amen