GOODNESS GRACIOUS

By Tommy Rush

I’ve been in Alabama this week with my mother who’s recovering from major heart surgery. Several days ago I received a phone call during my grandson’s baseball game at Parc Natchitoches. I was told that my mom was experiencing some chest pains and was on her way to the emergency room to diagnose the problem. After 10 days, a heart catheterization that failed, an ambulance ride to a heart center in Montgomery, quadruple bypass surgery, six days in a cardiac intensive care unit and a lot of prayers, my mother is beginning to smile and laugh again. Her doctor told us that she had experienced a heart attack, but the damage was minimal. He told us that her arteries are clear now, and soon she should be good to go!

Medical people tell us that the hardening of the arteries is the process in which foods that are high in cholesterol and fat start building up these hard deposits in your arteries. If the hardening in your heart is allowed to continue long enough, it’s no laughing matter. I can assure you after spending a week visiting a cardiac intensive care that heart surgery is not for sissies.

Hearts can harden physically and hearts can harden spiritually. It’s never good when we

allow the bad and negative things of this world to hinder or even stop us from caring and showing grace toward others. But we all know how easy it is to allow the pressures, disillusionments and problems of life to slowly harden our heart. Just like a person with hardening of the arteries, a person can allow their heart to close up and harden spiritually, if they let it go unchecked.

Despite all that the Apostle Paul went through, he never allowed the problems and hardships to clog up his love. He continued serving people and sharing the gospel because the “love of Christ compelled him.” I’ve been a pastor long enough to know that it’s very easy to allow what once was a deep affair of the heart to become an exercise of the head and hands. When we allow our heart to grow cold or to grow hard, we need heart surgery. Tell the Lord, you want him to open up what the deposits of the years have closed up, and to give you a new vibrant heart! Pray for a heart throbbing with His goodness and grace! A heart that’s pumping strong with life!


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