The Monitor Told the Truth

I felt as though I was walking into a time warp as I entered the doctor’s office.  The furniture, pictures, phone and lamps were all from the 1950’s.  At any given moment I expected Opie and “Aunt Bea” to walk into the room with Sherriff Andy Taylor.  The bathroom was tiled in pink, and behind the receptionist section of the office was a rolodex and stacks of manila file folders.  There was one very old computer.   When I handed the receptionist my credit card for my co-payment  I was informed that they didn’t accept credit cards – only cash or check.  I got nervous and almost walked away.  How could I entrust my heart to a doctor who worked in an antiquated office?  Yet, there I was.  I had received an urgent call from this cardiologist asking me to come to his office.  My monitor (see earlier post) had recorded an “event” that happened over the weekend.  I was well aware of the event, as the palpitations were extreme.The doctor was concerned with the report and called me in.

The conversation with “Dr. Sensitivity” went like this.

“I got a report from the monitoring center on your heart and you’ve got problems.”

I replied, “What kind of problems?”

To which he replied something like, “The kind that kill you. You should see these reports.”

That got my attention.  Fortunately, he quickly followed with reassurance that my “problem” was completely fixable, and that he would get me in for the needed procedure right away.  So, tomorrow I go to the hospital for a catheter ablation for supra-ventricular tachycardia. Yesterday I had no idea what these terms meant.   Now, I realize I will undergo the first thing mentioned today, and that I “have” the second thing.  And fortunately (though I think this cardiologist is a fine doctor), a specialist will do the procedure at a hospital.  I can walk out of the 1950’s and into some pretty amazing technology.

I thought about a scripture that has stood out to me for many years.   Jeremiah 17:5-10 (emphasis added)

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,

who depends on flesh for his strength

and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

[6] He will be like a bush in the wastelands;

he will not see prosperity when it comes.

He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,

in a salt land where no one lives.

[7] “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

[8] He will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

    [9] The heart is deceitful above all things

        and beyond cure.

        Who can understand it?


    [10] “I the Lord search the heart

        and examine the mind,

to reward a man according to his conduct,

according to what his deeds deserve.”

I’d been walking around with a heart problem and had no idea.  My heart sure fooled me.  The facts that displayed a picture of my racing heart (compared to the normal baseline of what it was supposed to be)  left no doubt.  There was indeed a problem.

Likewise, our hearts can deceive us into thinking we are just fine spiritually – even when we are not.  When we compare what is in our heart  (as demonstrated by the way we live and talk) to the truth as seen in God’s Word  we may discover  that we have a problem – one that can spiritually kill us.

I think I would be quite foolish to refuse to undergo the procedure that will fix my physical heart.  Yet, several things are required from me:  First, I needed to understand that there is a problem . Second, I must gain the knowledge of how to get the problem fixed. Third, I must schedule the procedure where the “fixing” can take place.

In order to undergo the procedure I must offer my complete willingness and surrender to the process. For the procedure to be successful there must be a competent doctor present, and I will need to “show up” in the procedure room where the process takes place.  All of these things are needed.  To leave out any one of them will cause the procedure to be unsuccessful and my heart will continue to have a problem.

This experience reminds me of my conversion – the point in time when I had my “spiritual heart” fixed (forgiven).

I came to understand that I had a spiritual problem and then learned from the Bible what God said to do about it.  I was willing and surrendered to let God operate –  and the Great Physician was more than capable of fixing my heart.  In the procedure room of baptism this amazing “fix” took place.  It involved God’s ability and disposition to save, my surrender,  and the “procedure room” of baptism where my sins were forgiven (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-6)

I’d be even more foolish to have turned down the opportunity to have my spiritual heart healed. What an amazing offer.

So today I go to get my physical heart fixed, and if you are reading this  I’d appreciate your prayers for a successful catheter ablation today.  Thanks so much.

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  1. Carol McGuirk

    Jeanie, I am praying for you and your heart!!!! We McGuirks love you and are so very grateful for all the w ays you love and serve us with that heart of yours. We need it fixed. We are praying for a successful Ablation!

    • jeanieshaw

      Love you and thank you for the support and prayers my friend.

  2. Leah P.

    This is so timely. Recently, I’ve been hurt by a situation where a few friends at church had let me down. I found myself getting really worked up over this and really hurt over other people’s sin. After reading the scriptures you’ve shared, I’m starting to see that whether they repent or not should not affect me. I should be confident in God and not man. In fact, it kinda seems unfair to them to put confidence in people, since they are only human and not perfect, like God. 🙂

    • jeanieshaw

      I’m always amazed by how the scriptures meet every need!

  3. Mary Allison

    Dearest Jeannie, I just joined your permalink so I could leave a comment. I have been reading your posts thought. thank you for the way you bring spiritual lessons to the events of your life. I know that is what God wants from us all. You are a wonderful example of life in Christ and faith. Thanks for the ways you taught me long ago and still teach me now. Love you very much.

    • jeanieshaw

      Thank you Mary. You are, and always have been so encouraging. You inspire me. Much love, Jeanie


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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