“If your heart goes south, how hard do you want me to work to keep you alive?” Not the most comforting words a doctor could ask, especially as I lay on the Emergency Room exam table. But that was the reality of the moment, considering the monitor on my arm had showed a pulse of 36 for the past hour, and I had a terrible EKG.
But let’s start at the beginning. I knew my heart had some difficulties, and I was wearing a heart monitor the night this started. I passed out and, as I came back, my daughter was talking to the 911 operator, getting an ambulance coming. The only real discussion when the EMT’s arrived was how to get me safely into the ambulance.
The EMT’s asked about the monitor I was wearing. They called the hospital when in route, and the cardiologist was on site about a soon as I was. Even feeling lightheaded (you do that with a pulse of 36), I knew something of the seriousness of the question the doctor was asking me.
I received a heart pacemaker the next day, and I am now doing fine. But this event did drive home the need to keep faith simple. When you are lying on the exam bed in the emergency room, precisely when God created the earth doesn’t matter. With a pulse of 36, it doesn’t matter if you know the precise stages of the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, because you probably can’t think that well anyway.
What counts is, as the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed phrases it, “I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” If you really believe that God is your Father, who loves and cares for you through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ, who has all power and controls everything as He desires, then you can rest comfortably in His care.
Pastors can and should discuss the finer points of theology. But when life gets hard, (and it will for everyone sometime), we need to be able to hold on to the simple basics of faith, that we have a heavenly Father who loves and cares for us always. He will make things work out as He desires.
Photo (c) Tashi-Delek/iStock