Christian, Uncategorized

The Heart

Hearts in Concrete

Sunday would be a day like no other. My family left for church ahead of me, something that a family in ministry sometimes does, because we all have to be at church at different times. With limited time during the week, sometimes grabbing that last minute coffee , throwing a load of laundry into the machine or spending a little more time with the dogs, needs to be done.

Just for a little backdrop, we live out in the country and it takes quite a bit of time to get to our home or to get to one of the main roads. Just recently, the water company began construction on a new water line that needed to be added to our community so that it can provide the new homes or future homes with water. These new zones have come with road closures and detours. So what would normally take about 5 minutes to get to our house from the main entrance of our neighborhood, now takes about 10 minutes. The closest EMT station is about 30 minutes away, then you add on the construction and you are looking at 40 minutes. Well, Christy, this is not that big of a difference. And in the big scheme of things, it probably isn’t, unless it means the difference between life and death because the new construction might become an obstacle for the EMT’s, firemen, or police officers  who have not traveled that route and have to get to people that are in dire need. And on this day, God knew that I was going to need them in the area sooner.

I had woken up a bit more tired than usual, but did not think too much about it, mainly because I am a very active person and I always seem to be on the move. Going to sleep late and waking up early have become a norm for me, so again, nothing unusual about me being a little tired. I said goodbye to my kids who left before my husband and then said goodbye to my husband who left before me.  I then began a mental countdown of how much time I had left before I began my drive to church. I was already dressed for the day and went outside to throw away the recycled items.  As I turned to head back inside the house, is when a curtain of black fell over my right eye, leaving me completely blind. I also began to feel rather dizzy and sick to my stomach all at once. Little did I know that my blood pressure was at an all time high. My normal numbers are 90/60, so them climbing to 152/88 was extremely high for me or for anyone really. My pupils were highly dilated and I became helpless.

I was able to get to my phone, call 911, call my husband and daughter during this entire process. Praise the Lord that I made it inside the house, because the concrete outside would not have been forgiving if I fell on it. I pondered driving myself to the doctor, thank goodness that I did not. Remember earlier when I said that all of the new construction might thwart time, and what would normally take the EMT’s 30 minutes to get to our home, only took 5 from the time that I spoke with them to them pounding on my door. They said that they were already in the area because of another call and were able to get to me right away. Coincidence? I think not. Thank You Lord for knowing that I was going to need them on that day and sooner than later. Not too long after the EMT’s arrived and shared that I needed to get to the hospital right away, my husband came on the scene and of course, he is the one that I wanted to take me to the doctor. In hindsight, I really did not think that the situation was as bad as it could have been or it actually was.

We arrived to the hospital and not even a minute later, I was bombarded by doctors and nurses that were flocking in from all over the place. Every speciality was there and they began to work up what seemed like a mountain of assessments. I was poked and prodded in every location and direction that they could get a hold of. I was then wheeled to Ophthalmology, the eye doctor, where my eyes were put through a slew of numbing dilations to see if there was any sign of hemorrhaging in my eye. To their surprise, everything appeared to be in tact and working normally. Test after test were run and a shadow fell over me and them as to what could be causing this abnormal loss of sight.

Just when I thought all of the testing was coming to and end, a slew of others would begin. The next machine that they rolled into my room, the one that I think really had me realize just how precious my life really is, admire the creation of God and see a piece of how He has intricately knitted me together, was the echogram machine. This magnificent machine was rather large in size and the work that it did could magnify something within us that is so small onto a screen so clearly. It was such an amazing machine, that it didn’t have any need or use of the measly little EKG lines that were placed upon my chest when I arrived at the hospital. This machine came with its own wiring and gadgets needed to go a little deeper than what the EKG could pick up on.

It was here when the technician began looking for any probable cause as to what might check me into a luxury stay at the local hospital. It was then that I saw it. Not only was it clear as day, it was right in front of me, shouting, here I am, look. No, I am not talking about what caused my vision loss or the aneurysm that I would later find out that I had. It was in this moment that I saw something so magnificent as the machine that was magnifying it. It was the radiance of God found in this one location that “for of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever…” rests (Romans 11:36). It is the place that daily pumps the blood of joy, sorrow, pain, love, and regret straight to a person that calls Jesus their Lord and Savior. It is the place where Jesus draws us near to Him and offers forgiveness of sins for a life that is undeserving and gives His life freely for the ransom of my sins.  It is the place that houses the Holy Spirit and according to Ephesians 3:16-19 is a place “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” It is a place where time can flow for the next 10 years or for only the next few seconds leaving the question, if it were to stop today, do you know if you would spend eternity with Him?

As I continued to lay on the hospital bed, watching the blood flow through each chamber, I was quickly reminded of just how precious life is and how short our numbered days are. I woke up that morning thinking it was a day like any other day and after being tossed into a reality check, I was quickly mistaken. Sometimes, God needs to get our attention, and most of the time, He does so in a still small voice. Other times, He needs to get us off of our feet and remind us that we can do nothing apart from Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End to everything, including this fragile life.  Have I done all that I can to share with my family and friends about God and His wonderful heart, that out of it flows love (oh, so much love), joy, peace, patience (oh so much patience), kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that He sent His Son to die a death, a death that He did not deserve, and offered Him up freely for you and for me, “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)?

Father, I am so humbled by Your great Love that flows down from Heaven and into my life. Thank you for letting me physically see the love that went into creating me and the love that flows from a heart that was once broken in sin, but has a redemptive purpose to live in this life for as long as that is thanks to Your Son Jesus. I didn’t die that day in a hospital room and I am not sure what day You will call me home, but until then, until my heart stops pumping the blood through my entire body, I will continue to live and serve You my Lord and do it giving You all of the honor, glory and praise. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

April 2008

Don’t wait until it’s too late

Story of the day:  Don’t wait until it’s too late

     Relationships are so very important.  The time it takes to cultivate them and the energy that is placed within them can be so rewarding, if we allow the time and energy for them.  The people that we hold dear and valuable to us, we should always take that extra time to value them.  We don’t wish to spend our time here in this world alone, yet sometimes we allow words to hurt us, words to hurt others, or to get so focused on ourselves that we don’t always tell those closest to us how valuable they are to us, and our words get lost in the day.  We take it for granted that they are going to be here everyday and that death, although can happen at anytime, is not going to happen to us right away.  And what happens, we wish we had done things more or said what we wanted to say, and wind up regretting it later.  As a person that believes life is so short and that we should treasure the time and people that God has given to us while here in this world, I must say that we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger, or get so self absorbed with ourselves that we lose sight of what is important.  

    Clarence Macartney wrote an interesting piece about a man named Thomas who waited too long.  He had “married his secretary.  She was someone that he loved dearly, but he was very thoughtless and absorbed in his own interests and activities, treating his wife as if she were still his employee.

    Stricken with cancer, she was confined to her bed for a long time before she died.  After her funeral, Carlyle went back to his empty house.  Disconsolate and grieving, he wandered around downstairs thinking about the woman he had loved.  After a while he went upstairs to her room and sat down in the chair beside the bed on which she had been lying for months.  He realized with painful regret that he had not sat there very often during her long illness.  He noticed her diary.  While she was alive, he would never have read it, but now that she was gone he felt free to pick it up and thumb through its pages.  One entry caught his eye:  “Yesterday he spent one hour with me.  And it was like being in heaven.  I love him so much.”  He turned a few more pages and read, “I listened all day to hear his steps in the hallway.  And now it’s late.  I guess he won’t come to see me.”  Thomas read a few more entries and then through the book on the floor and rushed out through the rain back to the cemetery.  He fell on his wife’s grave in the mud, sobbing, “If only I had known…if only I had known.”

    Some of the lyrics from a childhood song say it best.  The song entitled In the Living Years, by Mike and the Mechanics says this, “Say it loud, say it clear. You can listen as well as you hear.  Its too late when we die”  Yes, it is too late when we die, so we should tell those we hold so dear that we love them!   And we shouldn’t wait until it’s too late, for we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

Quote of the day:  St. Anthony of Padua

“Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.”

Bible verse of the day:  1 John 5:4

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank You for those that You have placed in my path.  Father they are all such precious souls and I treasure each of them.  I thank You for my family.  God You have blessed me with them and I don’t want to take for granted the time that You have given me with them.  I pray that I use the time wisely and treasure all the times that I am with them.  God, I know that I am only here for so long and I don’t want any regrets while here.  Continue to guide and monitor my time so that it is used wisely.  I pray to not let anger play a part in me not ever saying I love you to someone and I pray that I don’t let the small things eat away at me.  I pray to not let the sun go down on my anger!  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen