Thursday, November 3, 2016

Serious As a Heart Attack

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1

In one of our songs, there is a line that goes: "In the blink of an eye, a new life began; in the blink of an eye, you're free from all the pain."

My friend Camille posted a blog entitled "What Should I Fear."

There is an implied implication here (I believe) to consider the question personally.

On June 14, 2014, I began to suffer a heart attack.  It began as a weak, slightly sick feeling while I was doing yardwork at GPC.

I drove home, crawled into my recliner and took an Alka-Seltzer for what must have been the worst case of indigestion ever.

The nausea and pressure abated somewhat but returned in a few moments.

I've had worse (broken bones trump all that indigestion stuff), but I still wondered what I might do to obtain relief.

The minutes ticked by and the pain seemed to ebb and flow, but also to center more on a oppressive weight on the chest.

It was when a sharp pain up and down my left arm commenced that I became truly concerned (okay, okay, you can call it fear!)

My first thought, as I recall it, was: "So this is what it's like to die."

We Christians have this quaint habit of seeing God's hand in everything because, well, His hand is in everything. And I began to pray.

"To live is Christ, to die is gain," said Paul and his words rang in my ears and calmed my spirit.

The fear didn't kick in until I thought of my wife and daughter.

"Oh God," I began to pray, "if this is your will for me, then be it so; but O Lord, for the sake of my wife and my daughter, would you spare my life for a while longer?"

And the pain stopped immediately and I did laps around the house.


I went to the ER, was loaded aboard an ambulance and taken to Paducah where the excellent doctor in the hospital there placed two stents and sent me home in a couple of days.

And so God spared my life for a while longer. Some of His purpose in this have been apparent, some has yet to be revealed.

I recently heard a pastor say that when we come to worship, it doesn't begin when the pianist starts to play and congregation becomes still, but we are only joining worship that is already in progress and the spiritual world becomes part of our material world.

The real reality of heaven has become ever more real and present in my thoughts when my wife passed over and when I reflect on the praise and worship she is most surely engaged in.

And I think, "So this is what it will be like to die."

And I ask, with my friend Camille: "What should I fear?" 

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