Five months ago I went through quintuple bypass surgery. (August 31, 2017) That forced me to be quiet and still for several weeks and gave me time to reflect on my experience. Then the preacher/writer in me took over, and I wanted to share my reflections. I shared this as a message in church, but now I will share it as four blog installments. I admit that there is some shameless spiritualization of my experience, but here's what I learned from heart surgery
Part 1 - The Power of Genetics
On August 22 I met with my surgeon. He informed me that I had 4 vessels that were 90% blocked. That news was surprising to me. Then he reviewed my profile. "You don’t smoke or drink. You're not excessively overweight. You exercise and try to eat right." Then he shook his head and said, "Well, you chose the wrong father”
I made a genetic miss step over which I had no control. My father had coronary artery disease, and had the same surgery in 1985. He then lived another 20 years.
Genetics are a powerful force in our lives. That is why our doctors always quiz us about our “family history”. They are trying to discover what's lurking around in our closet that might present problems for us. What are our genetic risk factors.
There is power in our genetics – same is true spiritually.
Spiritually we all inherited a DNA called sin. David said it this way in Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
We were born into sin. That is our spiritual DNA our spiritual genetics. And it’s important for us to acknowledge that truth. If we aren’t willing to admit that fact, we can never be delivered from our genetics.
In Romans 7 Paul commented about his struggle with sin saying (verses 18-20) For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
He went on to exclaim: (verses 24-25) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
I cannot deny my physical genetics even though there are parts I might want to deny. Also no amount of human effort, in the form of diet and exercise, can change my genetics. So we can’t deny our spiritual genetics. We were born in sin, and no amount of human effort, in the form of good works, can change that. And without admitting that, we’ll never acknowledge our need for a Savior.