Consider this your personal angiogram to start 2023
After the recent Damar Hamlin cardiac arrest on the field during his Monday Night Football game last week between the Bills and the Bengals, who hasn’t found themselves thinking about the heart? He was resuscitated twice they say, once on the field after 9 minutes of CPR and another time at the hospital. It was all horrible to watch and even worse wondering how he was doing after they took him off the field in an ambulance and later suspended the game.
It’s been over a week now, and he has been transfered to a Buffalo hospital, where he is talking, moving, laughing and walking around with seemingly no brain damage. He apprears to be on the road to full recovery. Some have called it a miracle. Doctors have called it “a fairly remarkable recovery.”
So, with that as our backdrop for the start of 2023, let’s look more into this issue of the heart, and heart disease, cuz there is more to it than you think.
Sudden death heart facts are:
- 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 80,000 athletes will die suddenly in a year, and most are due to an underlying cardiac condition.
- In those under 35 years this sudden death is generally from congenital or genetic conditions
- In those over 35, sudden death is caused by coronary artery disease (due to atherosclerosos)
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a very common heart condition and happens over decades, when the coronary arteries struggle to send food, blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. Their struggle is caused by the build up of cholesterol and other substances in the walls of the arteries. They form hard structures called “plaques”. Now, some amount of hardening is natural as we age, but unhealthy lifestyle habits speed up this “hardening of the arteries”.
Cardio vascular disease in the number ONE leading cause of death worldwide.
Hang with me here, we’re going somewhere, and it’s about more than you think.
As I’m sure you have heard, heart disease causes lots of complications – irregular ryhthms, heart infection, and stroke to name a few. (Not to mention death) And it often displays these symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, unusual fatigue or heart attack.
We also know that those with lifestyle habits of smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obsesity are more likely to get CAD. In fact, in 2015, CAD affected 110 million people with 8.9 million deaths.
Doctors attempting to detect that hardening of the arteries (artery blockage), will perform a diagnostic test called an angiogram. Short version of how it works is – it takes xrays of the blood vessels that reveal where the blockage lies and shows just how big it is. I remember when my Dad had a heart attack. They showed me the angiogram that revealed 96% blockage! He died very shortly after that.
Phew, enough of the medical jargon already! Because it is about more than you think. Let me explain what I see.
I have come to see our nation and most of the inhabitants in it as having spiritual heart disease. Through unhealthy lifestyles of indulgence, their heart has hardened towards God and their life is showing signs of pain and pressure, difficulties catching their breath amidst their rat race life, and weariness in the daily demands.
But we hold within our power the ability to combat such hardening of the heart/arteries. If we are willing, we can exercise our will and discontinue the unhealthy practices. Just like we do when dieting, we clean out the fridge and cupboards, and replace them with healthy options.
Spiritual heart disease is no different. For long, healthy and happy life, we must remove those things that will build up in us and cause a hardening of our heart. Most importantly, instead of saying ‘No’ to God we say, “Yes”. Everytime we say no when God is speaking to us, hard “plaque” builds up in our spiritual heart. And if not dealt with, we become hardened in our disease of disobedience toward God, and will eventually have a spiritual cardiac arrest.
Just like Pharaoh’s heart was hardened in the days of the Exodus, people today have heardened hearts toward God and His ways.They actually refuse His healthy lifestyle options, and chose what they think is best and healthy for them. Not realizing it is a heart issue and their spiritual aterties in their spiritual heart are filled with unhealthy plaques. It is a heart issue, it is heart disease, my friend.
I find it no small coincidence that there are so many news stories about heart issues these days. Be they young people dying suddenly, althetes, vaccine controversies, or whatever. There is an emphasis of the Holy Spirit in 2023 on the condition of our heart. Heart disease is about more than you think, it is about the spiritual condition of your heart towards God.
Have you become hardened towards God or is your heart disease free and one that is soft and sensitive to Him and His voice?
Which of these describe your heart?
- Plaque causers –
- discouraged heart Num. 32:7
- obstinate heart Deut. 2:30
- hardened heart Exodus 19 x
- naughty heart 1 Sam. 17:28
- a heart of stone 1 Sam. 25:37
- pride & stoutness of heart Isa. 9:9
- deceit in his heart Pro. 12:20
- wicked heart Jer. 4:4
- stiffnecked and uncircumsized heart Acts 17:51
- err in their heart Heb. 3:10
- Healthy heart –
- willing heart Ex. 35:5
- upright heart Deut. 9:5
- inclined toward God Jos. 24:23
- wise and understanding heart 1Ki. 3:12
- penitent 2Ki. 22:19
- not a double heart 1 Ch. 12:33
- courageous heart 2 Ch. 17:6
- tender heart 2 Ch. 24:37
- clean heart Ps. 51:10
- contrite Is. 37:15
- a heart to know me (God speaking) Ezk. 11:19
- a new heart Ezk. 36:26
- good heart Lk. 6:45
I pray, that as we begin this new year, these thoughts will serve as your own personal angiogram and maybe even shock your heart to a reset for a healthy spiritual lifestyle in 2023. (Like an AED -automated external defibrillator does.)
Heart disease (spiritual and natural) will cause complications in your life and will often reveal signs and symptoms, too. Wise is the one who will pay attention to the symptoms of your own spiritual heart disease.
God’s patience and grace is upon us now, but it will not always be so.
Let’s be wise and heart healthy.
Happy and healthy new year,
- Verywellhealth.com – Sudden Cardiac Deaths
- Mayo Clinic Coronary Artery Disease
- The Gullen Report 11.22.22 Sudden Death on a Massive Scale
- Sudden Death Mystery of Healthy People
- NBCnews.com – “Evidence grows Stronger”, Erika Edwards
- The Holy Bible
One thought on “Heart Disease – It’s About More than You Think”
Very relatable both from a clinical perspective and spiritual perspective. Outline the clinical and spiritual perspectives side-by-side would enable a person to see the connections between each other. In retrospect, as I look back over the “bajillion” years that have passed by me, I realize more clearly that my clinical health and spiritual health were tied together. When my clinical health has been unhealthy it was often manifested in an unhealthy spiritual perspective and didn’t realize it. I should have seen this years ago. How different my life’s pathways would have been so different. I’m declaring that 2023 to be a year of “Healthy Choices” – both in the natural AND spiritual.