Monday, January 1, 2018

Though My Heart May Fail

I don’t often share personal stories here, focusing more on general life lessons. But the past few weeks warrant the telling, and celebration. It is often hard for healthy, young adults to understand the need to rely on God physically. We are so capable that it passes our notice. But no matter the circumstances, God is there, and we need Him whether we realize it or not.

I have known for some time that I have a heart murmur. I even had an echocardiogram when it was diagnosed, but they are rarely serious, and usually don’t even produce any symptoms. I brushed it aside assuming that it would never amount to anything. I’m young, healthy, and never needed to exercise to stay fit. And while I had noticed some very mild symptoms related to the murmur, they were easily manageable.

The week before Christmas, I suddenly started having chest pain and shortness of breath. I knew that it was likely due to the existent heart condition, but I didn’t start to worry until, after three days, it became debilitating. We drove to the best heart hospital in the region and checked in to the ER. That drive was one of the scariest my husband and I have faced. I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack, but my heart condition can lead to heart failure, and symptoms like that are not common in young adults. I ended up spending two days in the hospital, and was released on Christmas Eve. The prognosis was simple and yet puzzling. It was the heart murmur causing the symptoms, but the cardiologist couldn’t figure out why the symptoms were so severe. Nothing in my heart warranted any noticeable symptoms. But during the testing, the doctors noticed a mass on my thyroid that is actually big enough to see visibly. They thought that maybe it was “fate” getting me to the hospital so they would discover what was wrong with my thyroid. Praise God for the mysterious ways in which He works! I know that it was not fate, but God getting me where I needed to be.

The day after the chest pain began, I came across two verses that gave tremendous peace and even joy that stayed with me and carried me through the whole ordeal. The first was:

2 Corinthians 4:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

Even in the prime of life, we notice the affects of aging. Our bodies never function exactly as they should. That is one of the most noticeable results of sin. But take heart! Even though our bodies are falling apart, our souls can grow and flourish. The next verse I came across that day was:

Psalm 73:26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

No matter what happens to our bodies, God is the true source of our strength. Someday our bodies will fail us entirely, and in the mean time they will let us down periodically. We should not depend on them to uphold us. Rather, we should depend on God because He is the one who gives us strength. He is the one who heals and grows us. He is the one who sustains every aspect of our lives. He is our inheritance and the supplier of every good thing in this life.

These two verses were so encouraging to me. They gave me the assurance that no matter what happened with my body, no matter how this situation turned out, God was in control. He was orchestrating everything to His good will and purpose. So I knew that no matter what I faced, I was in good hands, I was taken care of.

Romans 8:28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

What are you going through right now? Are you trusting God to take care of you? Are you resting in His promises and truth? Seek His will, trust in Him and find peace and joy!

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