By John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
A couple of my friends have recently died unexpectedly from heart failure. I had been with them in normal social settings just a couple days before their sudden death. The heart is a strategic part of the human anatomy. It must function effectively or we won’t stay alive. About one in four deaths are the result of heart disease.
I read about a new $100 electrocardiogram machine about the size of two sticks of gum. A person at risk with a heart condition can use this device to monitor their “ticker” without bulky equipment or frequent doctor’s visits. Pressing his/her finger to the device for 30 seconds transmits a medical-grade EKG to their smartphone.
The AliveCor device is referred to as Kardia. The company uses artificial intelligence to analyze their data and build the profile. If the device detects a potential problem, the doctor is alerted to take a closer look. Technology is helping to keep the heart healthy. Kardia is experimenting with building this technology into smartphones, sensor-laden clothing, etc. The goal is to make checking your heart as easy as checking your temperature.
Artificial hearts also have been developed. These are used when a person is waiting on a heart transplant. One biotech company is conducting clinical trials on an artificial heart developed from synthetic materials and cow-heart tissues and powered by tiny electric motors. The first patient lived 74 days, but the second patient has exceeded that. If further clinical trials are successful and the device receives Federal approval for commercial use, each artificial heart will cost about $180,000.
An artificial heart can be a substitute for a limited amount of time. I understand there are about 4,000 donor hearts that come available each year, but 100,000 people are waiting for a heart transplant!
A Michigan man has a healthy heart but it’s in the wrong place! When the man entered the hospital for tests, X-ray technicians thought they had put the film in backwards. They discovered that the man’s heart was on the right side of his chest instead of the left side. He had a rare, reversed-organ condition. Figuratively speaking, always check to see that your heart is in the “right place!”
The essential contribution of our hearts to our physical condition is important to everyone. But there is a spiritual dimension to the heart also. I would suggest that it is more important than the physical function because the spiritual function is for this life but also for all eternity. The spiritually healthy heart never stops beating!
The Bible gives high significance to the healthy spiritual heart. John 7:37 says, “Out of the believer’s heart flows living waters.” Romans 5:5 says, “God’s love is poured in our hearts.” Proverbs4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life.” Matthew 6:21 says, “Where your treasure is there will be your heart also.” If you want to know how healthy your heart is, look at how you use your money, time, ability, and resources. Where you put your possessions indicates where your heart really is.
One day I received a phone call from one of my grandchildren. He had just been attending a church function and was riding home. He was very excited and said to me, “Pop Pop, I had to call you. I wanted to tell you that I invited Jesus into my heart today.” That was the best news that I could ever hear! The health of the heart where Jesus resides is indescribable!
We all need to go to the Great Physician and have a heart check-up. Is my heart in the right place? Am I trying to stumble along with an artificial heart? Can I check how healthy my heart is by examining what I do with my time and treasure? Who resides in my heart? Am I willing to follow the heart-healthy prescriptions of God’s Word? The Great Physician is always ready to perform a heart transplant and give us a new heart!
John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.1
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