Getting Your Heart Fixed
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
It has been three years since I had my heart fixed. On Monday, February 19, 2018, I had a severe heart attack. Evelyn rushed me to the hospital and the wonderful staff at Piedmont Athens Regional acted quickly and decisively to save my life. On Thursday I was wheeled in the operating room and Dr. Cullen Morris performed open-heart bypass surgery to repair my heart so that it could function the way it is supposed to work. That was on this date three years ago.
I remember in detail the week my heart was fixed. I remember the doctors and nurses and everyone who took care of me. I don’t think I will ever forget that experience. I have a scar on my chest that reminds me daily. I am in debt to Dr. Morris and his excellent surgical team for their loving and professional care. Yet, as significant as that day was for me, I have had a more important “heart event” in my life.
As a high school teenager, I participated in weekly church activities both on Sunday morning with my family and on Sunday night with my friends. One Sunday evening the pastor was preaching on the difference between going to church and being a follower of Jesus. He said that being a disciple of Jesus meant so much more than just attending church functions, and that God wants us to love and serve Jesus, not the church. I guess I had never thought about it that way before, and at the end of the service I found myself at the chancel rail on my knees praying for Jesus to enter my heart. Something miraculous happened that night, and I have never been the same. I prayed for God to take my heart and make it new by the power of the Holy Spirit. My heart was forever transformed.
Every day since that day has not been perfect. I certainly have had my ups and downs in life, and I have made my share of mistakes. I have known sorrow and joy, pain and happiness, and all the mix of emotions life offers. I cannot say that Jesus fixed everything in my life instantly, but I can say that a peace came over me that day that is with me still. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a child of God, and I continue to grow in faith. I know that God loves me with an eternal love that will last forever.
God is in the heart-fixing business. Like the Psalmist, may our prayer always be “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Amen.