Tomorrow is the birthday of my younger brother Jeff. He would be 55 this year. But he died—suddenly and unexpectedly—at the age of 38, of a hidden heart condition. Had he known, he would have received treatment; perhaps he would be alive today. We’ll never know…
This week I learned that a younger sister in the Lord has had a moral failure. I was shocked of course. But I was able to put it in perspective by remembering that my sister has a heart condition—a spiritual one; and it went untreated. I had been her counselor off and on—her spiritual ‘doctor,’ you might say. Had I known she had this heart condition, perhaps I could have prescribed a daily dose of truth to be applied to her vulnerability. But it was not to be; her heart condition remained hidden—all the while eroding her good health by shutting off the flow of Jesus’ life through her spiritual veins.
Several years ago, my older brother Ken had a massive heart attack—again, a hidden heart condition. My response? I immediately scheduled an appointment for a thorough examination by a cardiologist, to make certain I had no hidden heart condition.
So when our sister or brother has one of these spiritual ‘heart attacks,’ does it not motivate each of us to take inventory of our own hearts, that God might show us our own deep-seated vulnerabilities? And if we should find a weakness, to begin working on a treatment plan? “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart; [for I know] You desire truth in my innermost being” (Psalm 56:2: 51:6).