Spiritual Truth Learned from Quadruple Bypass Surgery

“Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

There are lots of things I learned from a quadruple bypass open heart surgery.

  1. It really hurts when they splay you open in half
  2. I wouldn’t recommend it
  3. Recovery takes a long time
  4. Cheeseburgers are yummy. And, cheeseburgers are not good for heart health

The biggest truth I learned from open heart surgery is a spiritual one.

There was one particular day when the post-op pain was so severe, I cried tears. I don’t normally cry. But that day, the pain was so constant, and I was having trouble breathing as I had been panting for a day because I couldn’t get air in my lungs.

The doctors and nurses told me I would be feeling better in twenty-four hours. Every second seemed to last an eternity.

I had a major “woe is me” pity party. I was only thirty-eight. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. In the yearly physical just a few months prior, the doctor told me I was borderline diabetic and hypertension. The doc had said I was healthy but could lose a few more pounds and exercise more. That’s what thirty-eight year olds are supposed to hear on their annual physicals.

But here I was sitting in the hospital room crying. Because everything was so miserable.

One of the things the hospitals do to help patients recover quickly is to make them walk. The first walk they made me take was just five hours after surgery!

As I walked the hallways I discovered a spiritual truth: the people around me were facing a much harder reality than me. I was going to recover. I was going to get out of there. There were others in rooms right next to me who weren’t going to make it. As I realized what was happening around me, I began praying for the patients and the families gathered in rooms where people were not going to make it.

The spiritual lesson I learned was that when I get my eyes off myself and start seeing the people around me my pain eases. You see, God didn’t give us life to be lived from the perspective of me. God gives us the gift of life so that we can be a blessing to others. It’s when we can bless others that we can truly be happy.

This covid season stinks. There are a lot of people struggling and hurting. If you focus on you, you will go down the never-ending rabbit trail of “woe is me.” Take your eyes off yourself and start looking at the people around you. There are people all over who are hurting around you. Be a blessing today. And as you begin to really “see” the people around you, you’re going to discover your joy in serving others.

“Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

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