This is part three of a four part blog series based on a message I shared in October , a reflection on lessons learned from my heart surgery.
Part 3. The Blessing of New Heart
Last summer I was feeling discomfort in my chest, but I tried not to think about it. I was able to manage and aggressive trip to Italy with my daughter without a problem. God was looking out for me.
Then on July 24, a day before the 2 year anniversary of Stephanie’s death, I was out for a nice long walk and began to experience bad chest pains. I called my doctor who referred me to a cardiologist who scheduled a stress test. That led to a catheterization on August 14 with the possible insertion of a stent. The doctor was not able to insert the stent because the blockage was too severe. I had 4 vessels that were 90% blocked.
CS Lewis once said: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” I have been known to be a stubborn man at times and may have been inclined to ignore my chest pain, but I listened as the pain yelled at me, and I responded. “Pain is God’s megaphone”.
My doctor told me that my heart is very strong and that I am fortunate that there was no damage to my heart. It was just some plumbing problems that needed to be repaired. So I am blessed with a new heart that was my old heart – a second chance at life.
The prophet Ezekiel spoke to people of Israel about their heart condition saying that their spiritual hearts were hard and resistant to God, but God promised to do something very special for them. Ezekiel 36:26-27 - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
This experience has reminded me to be grateful that my physical heart wasn’t damaged and that it is a strong pump doing what it’s supposed to do. So I'm grateful not only for my “made over” physical heart but also for the new heart, the new sensitivity I’ve been given as a child of the living God.