Courtesy of the kind email Marv Sawyer sent to the CMG family, some of you know that I had an emergency pacemaker implant on April 8. I appreciate the kind words of encouragement, but even more so, the thoughtful prayers that were offered on my behalf. My recovery is progressing as well as I could ever hope.
In a recent blog entitled, “Don’t Waste That Pain,” I mentioned that I don’t like to waste painful life circumstances by not learning from them the life lessons which I could never learn from the good times of life. This pacemaker situation has been no different.
Let me share a few of the random thoughts which have buzzed through my brain.
- While it is extremely important for us to prepare well for retirement, of far greater importance is that we prepare well for eternity.
Before this pacemaker episode, I understood intellectually that life is fragile – that something major might go wrong physically at a moment’s notice. Now I know from experience that life is that fragile. How grateful I am today that had something gone terribly wrong on that Friday, I was prepared to enter eternity to meet my Lord.
- Indeed, as Psalm 139:14 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
The heart is a remarkable organ and reveals the magnificent, creative genius of God. Did you know that in a healthy heart, the two upper chambers “speak” to their corresponding lower chambers through electrical impulses which move through the heart in tiny thread-like paths? Those electrical impulses are generated by the heart’s natural pacemaker. A healthy heart working in its natural rhythm is a remarkable creation. Just think of a heart beating 60 times a minute, sixty minutes an hour, twenty four hours a day, for 365 days a year. That’s 31,536,000 beats in a year. If a person lives for 75 years, his/her heart would beat 2,365,200,000 times at that rate. For the most part, unless something messes up with our hearts, we don’t even realize it is inside our chest cavity. Indeed we are a remarkable creation.
- A sick heart should not be ignored.
Pretending that nothing’s wrong, when something obviously is wrong, is foolish and will never make heart problems go away. And what’s true regarding a sick physical heart, is also true regarding a spiritual heart that is sick with sin and separated from God as a result. Today I am very thankful for a gifted doctor and a wonderful invention called a pacemaker which helped get my physical heart right. Even more today, I am thankful to God for the cross, the empty tomb, and a very real Savior who got my sick spiritual heart right so many years ago.
About the Author
Jerry Long is a retired minister [38 years] living in metro Greenville, SC. He and his wife Lynne have two daughters and three grandchildren. He holds degrees from Clemson University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.