I never thought a few months ago, at 43 years old, I would find myself strapped down to a table at Cooper Hospital needing a Heart Catheter, let alone needing a stent put in at the same time. Overall, I keep myself in good shape; I eat well, but then again, I am diabetic, so there’s always that, I thought. What was I missing? What was the learning point through this? I asked the Lord as I was getting this procedure.

I can remember laying on this table, strapped down, watching this device course through my body, this little camera searching through and projecting an image on the screen, searching with a dye to see if everything was clear, and as everything was flowing, I heard “there it is.” There was a 90% blockage in one of my arteries behind one of the valves in my heart. Now, part of me was relieved; I felt chest discomfort and tingling for over two years, but the doctors kept saying it was okay; I even switched to a new cardiologist. Even after changing, I passed all the tests again: the EKGs, the heart monitor I wore for a week, the stress test, and echograms. The doctor started to make me think I was crazy because I insisted something was wrong, but all the tests kept saying I was good, and I could continue the way I was. There was one test he said I could get, but insurance didn’t cover, a calcium coronary scoring test, which I didn’t do for months because I started to believe I was okay, but one day, I felt prompted to get it. Long story short, with this particular test, a score of 400 is horrible, and my score was 3800, which drove the catheter procedure. 

What kept making me go back and think was how all these tests missed it; all these tests said I was good, told me I could keep going the way I was, and I would be fine, but it took a particular instrument to go through my body intensely to search through me and identify that there was a blockage and in fact, I was on my way to having a heart attack if an intervention was not put in place along with a daily routine of medicine and changes to my life. 

There, the Lord illuminated the lesson for me; I felt the Lord teach me in something so visual at that moment, and it was this: people struggle with the gospel or even with their following Christ because the test of the world tells them that they are okay, the moral test, the standard of the world are the marks to hit and identify an individual as being successful or being good. However, it takes a divine tool, the Holy Spirit, to course through the body to determine the blockage that one has in one’s relationship with Jesus Christ; maybe the blockage may not always be 90%, but it is at times minimal, and sometimes a person finds out they have a complete blockage and needs immediate heart surgery. Still, I know that I am less likely to find the blockages on my own without being searched by the Holy Spirit. I need to maintain a daily connection with Jesus Christ to keep these blockages from occurring. He is the medication I need to take daily, or I find myself right back where I started.

The Psalms remind us:
Psalm 139:23-24
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

So I ask, has the Lord searched your heart lately?

Frank D.