My New Heart
I’ve suffered from a heart condition called PSVT since 1985. The EKG strip above was recorded earlier this year. My heart rate was 208 beats per minute. My heart has an extra pathway that allows electrical impulses to flow through its conduction system at a very fast rate. It comes on for no apparent reason. When I was younger, I could make an episode go away by coughing or holding my breath. The last 3 episodes haven’t responded to it. I’ve been fortunate that they’ve happened at work and I’ve been able to manage them myself with help from a co-worker. I had to have IV medication (Adenosine) that stops my heart for a few seconds, allowing a normal rhythm to take over.
My condition is treatable with medication to control the heart rate or by having an ablation done, which destroys the pathway causing the arrhythmia. I’ve discussed treatment options with a cardiologist and an electrophysiologist. I’m around them professionally, but I’ve been reluctant to be examined by them, preferring to manage it myself. But the problem is getting worse as I get older. The symptoms are more severe and the usual methods of ending it no longer work. In the last year I became convinced that God wants to heal us of our medical problems. So I began to ask Him to heal my heart.
I attended the Spiritual Hunger Conference in Spokane on the last weekend of September, 2009. My wife and I went there hoping to be healed of some chronic neck and back pain. My heart condition never crossed my mind. On Friday the 25th, a man was giving his testimony about the faithfulness of God in blessing him after he gave extravagantly of his finances. While he was speaking, God began to tell me to give a large donation tonight. I saw a vision of a credit card and silver and gold coins. I asked about a specific amount but God didn’t give me a number. I began to discuss the donation with my wife. As we talked about the amount, an episode of PSVT began. This time I wasn’t at work – there was no way I could fix it myself.
I tried coughing and holding my breath but it wasn’t working. My wife and some friends began to pray for me. I broke into a sweat and the pounding in my chest became very uncomfortable. A volunteer asked if I wanted them to call 911. I sensed God was trying to do something and the last thing I wanted was a visit to the ER. I told her no. About 20 minutes went by and nothing had changed. I began to hear God speak to me again about making a large donation. I sensed my healing was hovering over me and it would come when I took a step of faith. I told my wife to stop praying for me and put our credit card number on the donation envelope then write in a large amount. She asked the woman sitting next to her to take her place praying while she filled in the information on the envelope. I was watching her write and as soon as she filled in the dollar amount, the episode of PSVT ended. We all breathed a sigh of relief and gave a shout of praise to God. I had a feeling as though I was healed permanently of my condition.
But there’s more to the story.
After my heart rate slowed down, I noticed that my pulse was irregular. It wasn’t fast; it was just very irregular – like I’ve felt when checking the pulse on a patient in atrial fibrillation. I’ve never had an irregular pulse, not even an occasional skipped beat. But my pulse remained irregular the remainder of the night. As I pondered what might be causing it, I had a few questions for God. I told him I never had an irregular pulse before and wanted to know what was going on. His reply sounded something like this; “Are you telling me your old heart never had an irregular heartbeat? Maybe your heartbeat is different now because you have a new heart.” I was full of joy and wonder the rest of the evening. I knew I was healed and I believed it was permanent, could it be that God had really given my a new heart? When I went to bed after midnight, I checked my pulse and it was still irregular. When I awoke in the morning my pulse was normal again. I believe the irregularity of my pulse for several hours was a sign to let me know something in my heart had been permanently changed.
Jesus defeated Satan in the wilderness. He took his private victory and shared with all who would receive it. Its a spiritual principle that applies to other things. Having been given victory over heart disease, I can now share that victory with all my patients who have it. This week I prayed with a man who was going to have quadruple bypass surgery. We asked God to give him a new heart so he could avoid surgery. I’m waiting to hear his testimony.
I’d like to state that I don’t believe we can ‘buy’ healing from God. No amount of money or good works can secure divine healing; it’s an act of grace. All we can do is ask and receive. I didn’t know what the end result would be, nor did I even ask for my heart to be healed. I came to the conference for other health problems. But God knows which take priority and I’m happy to yield to his greater knowledge. Having said this, I also know that God rewards faithfulness and obedience – sometimes in unexpected ways. God asked me to make a donation and I responded. To my surprise, He healed my heart. Another surprise was waiting for me when I got home from the conference. I received an unexpected refund check from the state. It was for twice the amount we gave the night I was healed. God is faithful in all things.