Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Seeing the eternal

My Dad had a heart attack a year and a half ago. It was a shock to all of us. He's the picture of perfect health. Running here and there, doing all sorts of things for everyone - the man never stopped. He barely slept. He's the kind of person that took care of others needs and never his own. Subsequently, he ended up having quadruple bypass surgery. Turns out, we've got bad genes.

Just a few weeks ago, he had a stress test and the doctor saw something on the results that he felt needed to be looked at. So, he scheduled my Dad for a heart cath.

Yesterday was the dreaded day for the heart cath. Short version -- a heart cath is a procedure doctors use to look inside and around the heart. We were definitely nervous -- it's a little risky anytime doctors stop poking around the heart of anyone with previous heart problems. What's worse was that they may find something that needed to be repaired. If so, they would pause the procedure, talk to us about it, and then take him directly into heart surgery -- which again, is pretty risky for someone with heart issues.

As we sat in the waiting room on the edge of our seats, I recalled a passage that I had read in my study just nights before:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV

I'm ashamed to admit this, but in the past, I've been afraid to pray for God's will when it comes to sick family members. I've been so afraid that God's will might be to take someone from my life, that I just don't pray for it. God has been dealing with me on this issue. And when I remembered this verse, sitting in the waiting room, it was like a light bulb lit up above my head. I'm a christian. I've been a christian for most of my life. But somehow, I didn't get it until now. This body is temporary. This life he has given us is temporary. Our struggles here on this earth, though they may not seem like it, are temporary. But, the rewards are eternal for those of us who have confessed Jesus Christ as our personal savior.

Yesterday, was the first time I prayed for God's will for my Dad and his heart. I prayed God's will be done and that he give me strength to accept whatever that may be. And he did. My Dad's heart cath turned out fine. There is one bypass that they'll continue to watch and eventually, he may need an additional stint due to some build up.

Praise Jesus! Thank you Lord for the life of my Dad. Thank you Lord, that even though my time on earth with him may be temporary -- you, Lord have promised me eternity.

1 comment:

At A Hen's Pace said...

Wow--so glad all went well!

I read a little book called Stepping Heavenward that forever changed the way I view death. It's a fictional/autobiographical journal from over a hundred years ago, and it makes you realize that for centuries, death has been a much bigger part of human experience than it is in our time. It's partly why religion has been a bigger part of community life in past centuries too.

Great thoughts on the temporary vs. the eternal. Yes!