Several years ago I did a sermon based on a friend who had a heart transplant. The idea of the lesson was that is what God does for us when we decide to be a disciple of Jesus. He gives us a new spiritual heart. The desires, the hopes, the goals that pumped out of my heart changed when I decided to follow Jesus. My new spiritual heart gave me new life. Eternal life.
Last night I got to hear another story of a woman who had undergone a heart transplant. The story of her suffering and her fear was real and left many people with tears streaming down their face. The story of the life that was lost to give her a new heart was heartbreaking. The story of the victory and the incredible recovery that doctors cannot explain is uplifting. There were several comments she made that resonated with me.
Our misery is the worst misery we know. She struggled at times. She questioned God at times. She didn’t understand why she was going through all of those things. She could also look at others and think she was grateful she didn’t know their misery but it didn’t make her misery less painful. Oh, how I experience that every day.
Our story is meant to be shared. Others going through difficult times need to know they are not alone even when our walks may be somewhat different. We don’t share so we can tell them what to do though. We share so they know we are there when they need to grab onto something to keep from falling into oblivion. I know that feeling from both sides.
We are victors. Psalms 23 says, “when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” David didn’t say when we are made to live forever in the valley or that we would be stuck in the valley. We walk through it. I feel like I have been walking through the valley for years but I keep walking. Along the way I am reminded that I have great kids, that I have met a wonderful woman and that I have friends who help carry me at times. I’m still walking through it and “through it” is something I need to remember. Winston Churchill is credited with say, “when you are going through hell, keep going.” He stole that from Psalms 23 I think.
I am reminded that we are not promised easy days. Man, how I want some easy days. I dread coming to work many days but I need the paycheck and I want to make a difference. There’s so much opposition to me making that difference and it comes from the attitudes of the leadership. That’s hard to face but I keep walking through it. Maybe, one day, the valley will lead me out of here in a different direction. Maybe, one day, I’ll find myself on the mountaintop and out of this pit. So, I keep walking through it.
Heart transplants, like all good things from above, don’t come without pain, without surgery, without course corrections, without misery and yet it leads to life. I can’t wait to have an abundant life. A life with less turmoil, less stress, less worries. Some of that will come from inside of me and much of it will come from God. I pray he is speedy. Until then, I keep walking through it.
Grace and peace.