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Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Under the Knife: My Open-Heart Surgery and the Fear of the Lord" Part 1

Over the last few years I have boasted of my "excellent health." I've told many of my friends and acquaintances that I'm in great shape and my blood pressure proves it. I somehow forgot that I've been on blood pressure meds for years now. The only thing I admitted was that "I am a bit overweight." Yeah, right. Try 30 pounds overweight.

Several months ago I began having pains in my upper right chest and in my right arm. At times these pains were so bad they were scary. But I kept telling myself that it was nothing. This was a daily experience for around 3 months. I didn't know that I was knocking on death's door.

While I was on vacation with my family in Jacksonville, Fla., my children became very concerned when I had to sit down after simply walking into the surf. The first Monday we were back home my 2 daughters and my son-in-law called me and demanded that I make an appointment with my doctor. I did that very moment they called. He saw me that day and the rest, as they say is history.

I had an "abnormal" stress test result and was referred to a cardiologist. After a catheter revealed 3 blockages, one very bad, I was set up for surgery almost immediately. I was pretty stunned by all this. After all, I was in excellent health. My pain was probably just a pulled muscle ... or somethin.' It turned out it was "somethin.'" As it turned out, I had to have quadruple by-pass surgery.

By the grace of my heavenly Father, and only by His grace, I never once experienced the fear of dying. He granted me grace of all sorts. Grace for suffering physically, grace for dying, grace for trusting the surgeon and his staff, and grace for future stuff. He also granted me grace in seeing my foolish boasting about everything in my life as though I were the "the Captain of my soul; the Master of my fate." The revelation that came to me through all of this was that I am one prideful little man. And prideful people do not know "the fear of the Lord."

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" Ps. 111:10
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" Pro. 1:7
"The fear of the Lord prolongs life" Pro. 10:27

There are several other occurrences of this wonderful and powerful phrase, "the fear of the Lord," that you should check out. They are all equally important and applicable to every disciple of Jesus.