June 21, 2004

The Human Heart... So Wonderfully Made
by Donald G. Mashburn

The absurdity of evolutionism’s lack of scientific explanation for things like the human heart was brought home to me recently in an unexpected way.

My heart had always been strong, tolerating extreme exertion and most any reasonable physical task. That all changed in late May. A stress test and angiogram showed some serious blockages in my coronary arteries.

I felt no symptoms – no angina, shortness of breath or weakness. The doctors said my first indication of a heart attack might be my only, and final, one. Coronary artery bypass surgery seemed to be the only alternative to a small piece of plaque or blood clot breaking loose and shutting down that remarkably beautifully designed organ called the human heart.

My family didn’t much like that scenario, either.

The quadruple bypasses were performed by surgeons at Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma City. We think the first bypass failed five days later, when indescribable pain hit both arms, and spread across the shoulder blades and concentrated in the spine.

As the pain went through the ceiling, so did the blood pressure. An alert nurse arrived with morphine to quell the pain. The blood pressure also eventually declined to less critical levels.

After eight days I went home. Seventeen days after surgery, the same kind of pain hit both arms, the shoulders, back and spine. At the emergency room, the pain hit levels I never knew a human could endure, as blood pressure zoomed. By the grace of God, and help of a loving family and superb nurses I did endure.

It turned out that three of the four bypasses had failed. Since, I have pondered it all. Why had God led me to and through each event, after my family and I had sought His guidance in every decision? We believed that God led us not only to the surgery but also the surgeon who was to do it.

So why all the suffering? Why did my lovely wife and daughter have to fight me with every ounce of their strength to keep me from tearing the oxygen mask from my face in an effort to get some air into my lungs?

Why in that dark, grim struggle, with me and my entire family praying, was the pain so prolonged? And why, in that pain, was there faith – although it’s obvious that at such times, faith and our Lord’s presence are all we have going for us?

Why did the bypass failures and crises play out as they did, especially after we had sought God’s will at every step? Part of the answer may be found in Herbert Lockyer’s, Everything Jesus Taught, where Lockyer quotes F. B. Meyer: “Suffering robs us of proud self-reliance, and casts us in agony at the feet of God.”

Lockyer goes on to say, “We wonder why infinite Love does not rush instantly” to our relief. It may be that the angel of pain must complete her visitation before the Savior arrives to comfort, to restore and to let us know that He is there with us.

It may be, too, that we must arrive at the foot of the cross in complete surrender so that healing can be abundantly and graciously poured out on undeserving sinners.

Lockyer says, “Character is ennobled by the capacity to bear physical and mental suffering without losing fortitude and faith.” How much my character was ennobled by pain I can’t say, but my faith no doubt was strengthened.

As Christians, our faith grows because Jesus has already conquered pain, sin and death. And, knowing that God the Father sent His own Son to save us, we also know that we are His, and this life’s events are merely preliminary to being with Him forever.

Even if our last breath here is a fight for oxygen, and our last glimpse of life here is a grim hospital room with loved ones praying, Believers know that their first glimpse of Eternity will be the blessed face of our Savior and Lord welcoming us to our eternal home.

And we can confidently say with David, in Psalm 139:14, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”