Timeline: one week ago at 4:00 in the morning and I’m in the hospital. The nurse woke me up at 3:30 this morning to weigh me. Trust me, if you go to the hospital to rest, you will not get it!
Admitted the previous day with severe chest pain, the initial EKG showed no sign of a heart attack, but they’ve put me on a nitroglycerin patch which relieves the pain and an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) and chemical stress test are scheduled for this day. The lab vampires came again a few minutes ago and drew blood. I’m ready to go home, but the tests must come first, so I pick up a pen and begin to write this adventure all down on paper so I don’t forget and begin to pray.
“Lord, get my eyes off “me” and onto you.” My first thought upon awakening and looking out the window into the predawn was “Oh Lord, I lift up my eyes to the hills to You from where my help comes from.”
“Father, you know where I am and are right here with me. Thank you. I rest in your arms of peace and love Father. I know that nothing can happen to me today that you don’t already know about. Yet, I’m fearful of the test results. Still, I want to tell you that I trust in you alone, you are my refuge, the Lifter of my head and my Lifeline and I praise you. Speak to me Lord. Tell me what’s going on, guide my words and thoughts oh Lord, so that I might be a witness to Your mighty work in my life.”
“Daughter, go to my Word. Isaiah 62:3- “You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hands, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”
“Father I don’t feel like a crown of splendor, nor do I look like a royal diadem. I’m laying here in this hospital bed with a floppy hospital gown and hooked up to electrodes and my hair is oily and has lost its shape. I feel and look horrible. Still, if you say it is so, then I believe.”
“Daughter, take heart, look at Jeremiah 29:13- “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Then look at Psalm 119:6, 7, 11 “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
The Lord is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.” Verse 17 goes on to bolster me, “I will not die, but live; and I will proclaim what the Lord has done.”
“Okay, Father, I hear you and believe.”
After they put me through the CT scan it comes time to inject some dye into the veins of my left arm through the IV port in my elbow to see how the heart pumps the blood to my lungs as they’re looking to see if there’s some pulmonary hypertension. My arms are raised over my head and another nurse puts a blood pressure cuff on my right forearm which every thirty seconds or so takes my pressure. In the midst of this process I begin to quietly sing praises to my Lord to get my mind off the pain and onto Him. As I’m singing I feel the blood pressure cuff gently, but most assuredly squeeze my arm and instantly I know, yes, it’s a blood pressure cuff, but my spirit inside tells me it’s Jesus. He’s reassuring me that He is there with me and I can rest in Him. Each time it squeezes I smile because I know that I know, He loves me. As I feel the injected dye enter and flow throughout my body it’s as if His love is what’s flowing and I have no need to fear, whatever comes.
Even now, one week later I’m reminded of His gentle love squeeze of reassurance and insistent guidance. Giving thanks I praise Him that my heart, although tested and tried, is fine.