Nearly two weeks ago, Sunday, May 5, Janis and I were boarding a plane bound for the Bahamas for a Pastor’s Conference put on by The Solomon Foundation at the Atlantis Resort. Little did we know in the space of three days our lives would change forever.
When we left DFW I was already feeling fatigued, but upon arrival in Nassau began to notice being short of breath — something that continued the whole time we were there. We enjoyed the conference and other than being short of breath and tired, we enjoyed ourselves. I even played 18 holes of golf Tuesday on The One and Only Ocean Club Golf Course. It was a spectacular setting for an enjoyable afternoon of golf. The only negative was my right leg, which began to look swollen as we played.
The conference ended that night and the next morning we left Nassau for Miami. Once in Miami, I texted my daughter, Katie, and asked her to see if she could get me in to my primary care physician, Dr. Nancy Georgekutty. I wanted to find out why my leg was swollen and why I was short of breath. Here’s what my text said:
“Hey Katie, is there any way you could get word to Dr. GeorgeKutty? I have been having trouble breathing (getting a full breath) since we got here and my right leg has swollen. Don’t know what’s up. Not in any pain but need to find out what’s going on. Not in a hurry either.”
Famous last words.
When we landed at DFW early Wednesday evening, May 8, Katie called to say Dr. Georgekutty wanted to speak with me. We were in the car driving to dinner when Dr. Georgekutty called and encouraged me to stop by the ER to get my leg checked. She wanted to make sure I didn’t have a blood clot.
Here’s a short video that tells what happened next:
It’s not my intent to revisit all the events of the past few days. Rather, I want to share a few important lessons I learned and hopefully explain how they relate to all of us.
I thought I was fine. But I wasn’t.
Katie initiated the whole process of getting me the help I desperately needed. Thank God for family.
My doctor convinced me to postpone dinner and make this a priority. Thank God for a persistent doctor.
If I had gone to dinner instead of going to the ER, it would’ve only been a few hours, not days, before I would’ve “passed away.”
I needed to go to a place where I could get help. Methodist Mansfield Hospital.
God had already been working behind the scenes. I had no idea what all God had already done.
There are a lot of people in our world like me who have heart trouble — not physically, but spiritually. And they have no idea how desperately they need help.
Sadly, too often they make the same mistake I made, thinking everything is fine. But it isn’t and its not just their life and a few more years at stake, it’s forever.
How can we help them? Sometimes a family member will initiate the process. Other times someone in our life who is persistent enough to not take “NO” or “Not Now” for an answer gets them to a place where they can get help. In this case a church like Crossroads that specializes in helping people with spiritual heart trouble.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of spiritual heart trouble today, let me encourage you to get help now. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Don’t rationalize by saying, “I’m good. I feel fine. I’ve got plenty of time.” Because none of us has that guarantee (James 4:13-15).
Looking back now at the text I sent my daughter, Katie, where I said, “Not in a hurry either," I see how wrong I was. Dr. Curtiss Moore, who performed my surgery and installed the pacemaker reinforced that after my surgery. He told me if I had gone to dinner instead of going to the ER, it would’ve only been a few hours, not days, before I would’ve “passed away.”
Whoever you are and wherever you are, get to church this weekend. If you live in the DFW area, come to Crossroads.
No matter what condition you’re in, it’ll be good for your heart.
© 2019. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.