Grounded…What now heartache?

On July 20,  the 2012 Ford Fiesta a.k.a. our vehicle had to be towed to the repair shop. Two days before the tow, the car would not “start.” Like a “smarty pantsy” fool, I positted all possibilities why it would not start. These included hypothesizing the following: it was too hot, affected the computer, lets wait for it to cool down; it won’t start when its sunny, lets wait for early afternoon; and there were other thoughts that crossed my mind as to why the car would not start. Like I said, foolish.

Fiesta

Roy, the service advisor, did the intake at which point I tried to sound “technologically adept,” he listened intently to my narrative on the history of the “non-starting episodes” of the car. Looking back, I think he might have thought me a silly rather than smart, maybe a “smart-fool?” Over the next two weeks, none of my theories ever panned out. It was like waiting for a diagnosis in which the doctor is unable to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong without going through a battery of tests. For two weeks we were without a “reliable” car, but thanks be to God for my brother in law Ricky, he lent us his car.

Interestingly, 108 days have passed since “my service advisors” were equally confounded with my condition. My wife later pointed out the parallel between my experience and that of the car.
The Fiesta had been installed with an after market GPS system which turns out is not compatible with the original specs of the manufacturer. In other words, the GPS was not properly wired because it was an “add-on” that Fords computer system rejected. What’s the parallel? 

In Ecclesiastes 12:13, I am reminded of my whole purpose, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭12:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬‬; in the ESV translation, we are given of the same verse, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” How do I connect this verse to the car? Bear with me…The Bible tells me, tells you, that I am made in the image of God…you are made in His image and as we read in the preceding verse…I am to “Fear God and keep His commandmentsthis is the whole duty of man (what I get to do).‬‬ That is my purpose. Consder these words, When “… God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good...” As far as God’s creation is concerned, it was all good. ‬‬ 


But sin entered the picture, like that misplaced GPS, it was never part of the original‬‬ equipment and ever since, there has been an incompatibility problem, a shorting of the car. Some days it will start, some days it won’t. Kinda like the flesh and the Spirit, Romans 7:15-20 and 8:6. As for me, I want to do what I want, did so before the operation, still do. Friends, the “heart of the matter, is the matter of the heart.” Instead of that infernal GPS, I should have been running on the “eternal GPS” (God’s Positioning Spirit) as evidenced in John 14:26 & 16:13.

I had to go through a quadruple by-pass because my internal wiring was in disarray that it shorted out from all my “past feastings”, and boy did I love to eat; the Fiesta? its wiring shorted because of a “foreign” gadget, it too, had to be re-wired and put in order. My part in caring for the car is to properly “maintain” it, as I must with myself.

Does this mean my heart can be continually abused again and again, by me? As in, I can eat what I want when I want to? God forbid!!! Of course I must needs to be mindful that my body is no longer my own, it never has been, it belongs to God (1Corinthians 6:19-20). 

Rehab team beginning with my wife, and doctor

My corrective, next step, began in an emergency room (I had to be towed to it) in May, only to end up on an operating table several days later n May 28; since then, I have begun to go through cardiac rehab, which serves as a reminder to know my limits. Rather than exercising my “rights”, these days, I get to learn to exercise my “limitations” and let God be God in my life, and this leads to a “healthy life” in Jesus Christ, for Him, by Him, through Him!

With every heartbeat…

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”      2Corinthians 4:16

There is always the proverbial “good news, bad news scenario” in our everyday walk as a Christian. But as the Word of God tells us, “…do not lose heart…” Ever since my life-threatening procedure , I’ve encountered, not nightmares or dreams, but visions of the “what if…maybe…is it possible?” myriad of passing thoughts.

Examples? Well, for one, here’s a thought that has crossed my mind once or twice in the last few weeks: “if they worked on my heart while the rest of my parts was placed on a machine, what happened to my conciousness while my heart was being worked on?” It’s like, were they (my heart and mind) ever disconnected? Answers? anyone?

Then there’s this other nagging question…I’ve got a saddle that helps regulate the mitral valve on my heart, a foreign object if you will, inside of me. Lately, I’ve been having this phantom itch across my chest…or is it?  You see, these are some of the things that go on in my mind. Is it unique to me? Or does every person who goes through a Quad by pass go through these same experiences that I still do?

Bayanihan, moving from one place to another in the spirit of community.
The wholeness journey of the repaired heart begins with the Physician in charge. An local illustration that comes to mind is the Filipino word bayanihantaken from the word bayan, referring to a nation, town or community. The whole term bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective.” As well as the references we are looking at, there is a revelatory component in all these things I have experienced.

Bayanihan, as defined above is in Scripture…1Corinthians 12, which speaks of the unity of the body of Christ, different parts, make up the whole, always in tune with the other parts. One limb hurts, the other parts, though separated by distance, are affected. Therefore, the answer to my question as to whether the rest of me was ever disconnected while I was out of it, is no. I was connected, always have been, always will be connected in Christ.

Now, how does that relate to me? Parts of my whole was diseased. A scary word to use but thats what the cardiologist said to my wife after the  angiogram  was concluded. God, who promised me, “… He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6. This is one of the good news items I spoke of earlier, everything God does is always good. And He isn’t done with me yet. Still residing at this temporary address we call our physical body, waiting for the Lord to call me to our permanent address…”But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

What does my quadruple by pass have anything to do with all this? I don’t know, but God does. That is my prayer for each one of you, family (wife, children, grand children), friends (close, acquaintances), and strangers (at least to me), grab hold of each day to bring glory and honor and praise to the One Who redeemed you, Who Redeemed the world. More of Him and less of yourself as my wife would say. 

Nenita, Alma, & Me…our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Once we’ve surrendered ourselves, the clouds of doubt and anxiety float away. Even after major surgery! Then, we can say in confidence, not in ourselves but to Him who does it all for us…”Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” You see, thats it, day by day with Jesus Christ. Moment by moment, all 86,400 seconds of every single day. Every second that my heart beats is a gift of God.

Heart Beats…from afar

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 ESV 
June 15, 2016, two days after being discharged from the Philippine Heart Center (finally) here I am back home in Tagaytay. Altogether I had spent forty days and nights under the watchful of care of God. He used people who were more than willing to be used by His Spirit.

Those people begin with my wife, Nenita, our children, from our eldest son along with his wife, to our youngest. Friends and family from near and from across the Pacific. On May 1, my wife, along with our daughter- in-law insisted  I be taken to the ER “just to make sure it was nothing serious.”  This was all because I had looked ashen and had shortness of breath that evening. Lo and behold, it was serious enough that I found myself in an ICU for the first time ever. And so the journey of my heart began.
Reflecting back, it wasn’t really something I was pleased with. I mean, who wants to be confined in a hospital, its only for sick people, right? It was only later the truth spoken of in Jeremiah 17:9, about the condition of the human heart had meat and meaning to my condition then, before the operation, and even now.Dude, mine was sick to “da max.” I needed a major heart “overhaul.”

a visit after a month at the heart center. Thank you ladies and men.

It took more than a surgeon to rectify this ole heart of mine, I was under the care of One who had the steadiest hand of all when it comes to affairs of the heart.