I felt as though I was walking into a time warp as I entered the doctor’s office. The furniture, pictures, phone and lamps were all from the 1950’s. At any given moment I expected Opie and “Aunt Bea” to walk into the room with Sherriff Andy Taylor. The bathroom was tiled in pink, and behind the receptionist section of the office was a rolodex and stacks of manila file folders. There was one very old computer. When I handed the receptionist my credit card for my co-payment I was informed that they didn’t accept credit cards – only cash or check. I got nervous and almost walked away. How could I entrust my heart to a doctor who worked in an antiquated office? Yet, there I was. I had received an urgent call from this cardiologist asking me to come to his office. My monitor (see earlier post) had recorded an “event” that happened over the weekend. I was well aware of the event, as the palpitations were extreme.The doctor was concerned with the report and called me in.
The conversation with “Dr. Sensitivity” went like this.
“I got a report from the monitoring center on your heart and you’ve got problems.”
I replied, “What kind of problems?”
To which he replied something like, “The kind that kill you. You should see these reports.”
That got my attention. Fortunately, he quickly followed with reassurance that my “problem” was completely fixable, and that he would get me in for the needed procedure right away. So, tomorrow I go to the hospital for a catheter ablation for supra-ventricular tachycardia. Yesterday I had no idea what these terms meant. Now, I realize I will undergo the first thing mentioned today, and that I “have” the second thing. And fortunately (though I think this cardiologist is a fine doctor), a specialist will do the procedure at a hospital. I can walk out of the 1950’s and into some pretty amazing technology.
I thought about a scripture that has stood out to me for many years. Jeremiah 17:5-10 (emphasis added)
This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
 “I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve.”
I’d been walking around with a heart problem and had no idea. My heart sure fooled me. The facts that displayed a picture of my racing heart (compared to the normal baseline of what it was supposed to be) left no doubt. There was indeed a problem.
Likewise, our hearts can deceive us into thinking we are just fine spiritually – even when we are not. When we compare what is in our heart (as demonstrated by the way we live and talk) to the truth as seen in God’s Word we may discover that we have a problem – one that can spiritually kill us.
I think I would be quite foolish to refuse to undergo the procedure that will fix my physical heart. Yet, several things are required from me: First, I needed to understand that there is a problem . Second, I must gain the knowledge of how to get the problem fixed. Third, I must schedule the procedure where the “fixing” can take place.
In order to undergo the procedure I must offer my complete willingness and surrender to the process. For the procedure to be successful there must be a competent doctor present, and I will need to “show up” in the procedure room where the process takes place. All of these things are needed. To leave out any one of them will cause the procedure to be unsuccessful and my heart will continue to have a problem.
This experience reminds me of my conversion – the point in time when I had my “spiritual heart” fixed (forgiven).
I came to understand that I had a spiritual problem and then learned from the Bible what God said to do about it. I was willing and surrendered to let God operate – and the Great Physician was more than capable of fixing my heart. In the procedure room of baptism this amazing “fix” took place. It involved God’s ability and disposition to save, my surrender, and the “procedure room” of baptism where my sins were forgiven (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-6)
I’d be even more foolish to have turned down the opportunity to have my spiritual heart healed. What an amazing offer.
So today I go to get my physical heart fixed, and if you are reading this I’d appreciate your prayers for a successful catheter ablation today. Thanks so much.