I’m a thinker in case you haven’t noticed yet. My mind is constantly jumping from one topic to another, rarely pausing to rest in between. My thoughts keep me up at night unless I muzzle them with medications. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the human heart. The human body and organs are truly an amazing work of art. Did you know the heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through our bodies each day we’re alive? It is vital for life, yet it only weighs 7-15 ounces. It beats around 100,000 times a day, usually in perfect synchrony. The human heart begins beating only four weeks post conception. And some say all this just happened by chance? Think about that.
In my latest hospital stay I suffered from a very sudden “minor” heart attack, according to physicians. Since being admitted, my blood pressure was scary low – so much so that I couldn’t get any pain medicine for fear I would crash. Later the second night of my stay, my nurse was instructed to administer epinephrine – a drug given to help raise blood pressure to a stable number. We discovered very quickly that I am allergic to epinephrine. One second I’m carrying on with my mother and a visiting friend from church, the next I’m feeling like I was hit by a freight train. I looked at my sweet mother: “Mom, help! It’s my heart.” Looked over at my monitors and everything was crashing – my heart rate, my blood pressure, this was bad. Mom runs out in the hallway screaming for help, and so many people came rushing in: doctors, nurses, technicians, respiratory therapists… I had a large ICU room and it was full of staff. “Amber, are you OK?” “Amber, I need you to talk to me.” “Amber, tell me how you feel.” Asking all kinds of questions, all while barking orders to the others to administer meds, stop others, and put in a arterial line to monitor my heart rate and blood pressure on a second by second basis. I looked at my mom, my best friend, and she’s sobbing. She thought this was the end too. Everyone did. Dad and my pastor came immediately. I just can’t bare to see her so scared, so I did all I could do; “Mom! Look at me! Keep your eyes on me. I’m OK. I’m going to be OK.” Over and over and over I said those words while deep down I’m screaming “PLEASE DON’T TAKE ME HERE!! I’m not finished and I can’t leave my family!” It’s quite a surreal thing to have one foot in this world and one foot in the next, and still making the choice to stay down here and keep pressing on. It’s easy to quit, but it’s more rewarding to stay and fight. It took a while and felt even longer, but eventually they got me stabilized, and there was peace.
Like the heart, the human brain is just as much of an incredible organ – so incredible in fact that the most renowned scientists have only begun to scratch the surface in understanding all of the phenomenal abilities it possesses. The average person has around 70,000 thoughts per day. Contrary to popular belief, we use our entire brains rather than parts of it. The brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in the human brain, and when awake generates enough energy to power a light bulb. There are more brain neurons and neuron connections than there are stars in the entire universe. The brain processes information at an approximate speed of 268 miles per hours. You get the picture; the human brain is another amazing creation of God.
In a perfect world, the heart would always function perfectly, there would be no need for modern medicine, and the human brain would be absolutely limitless. Unfortunately, Thanks to Adam and Eve and the entry of sin into this world, we suffer from pain, sickness, disease, and other tragedies that God never meant for us to endure. However, in His goodness, God can take what Satan means for evil and use it for good if we trust Him.
My cousin is lying asleep now in a bed at the John Hopkins Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, recovering from a traumatic brain injury in which he had a stroke and a brain aneurysm. He’s a senior in high school who has also dedicated his life to sharing the message of hope through Jesus Christ. His chance of survival was next to nothing when he was brought in, but God has much bigger plans for Ricky, and through this trial God is being glorified and Ricky will learn to lean on God in a way he’s never had to before, making Him a true warrior and giving Him a very special relationship with his Heavenly Father that only some of us have the privilege of knowing.
The point I am trying to make here is that life is very fragile and can change literally in the blink of an eye. One minute everything is great; the next you get T-boned on your way to work, or disease enters your body, or your heart stops beating… And your life is changed forever. Are you ready to face the uncertainties of this life? Because in one blink everything can change. “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand” is true and I can testify to it. When the ground shatters beneath you, hold onto the hand of God and He will carry you through. It won’t be easy and it might not even end the way anyone wants, but I promise that going through Hell with God is much better than going it alone. Be prepared, friends. Take it from someone Satan loves to mess with: he can destroy your body and wreak havoc upon your mind, but if you have put your faith in Christ, at the end of it all you can still sing…
“When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.”