Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Transplant List

I just heard a story of the Bingham family of North Powder, Oregon.  They have five children who have had, or will need, heart transplants due to genetic heart abnormalities. Two of the children have already received transplants, another a pacemaker, and the others will find themselves on the transplant list soon. Can you imagine the burden of that load? The physical, emotional and financial stress? My heart so goes out to them. The reporter stated that he had been surprised to find that in spite of it all, there was much happiness and gratitude in the home. I bet I know where that strength comes from.
Some heart transplants aren't physical.

I have been blessed to discover, like the Binghams, that it really is possible to find joy in distress, strength in challenges, gratitude in trials and courage in the face of fear, but it requires undergoing a heart transplant. You see human hearts have defects.  We are prone to complaining, doubt, fear, and discouragement. When trouble comes, our defective hearts immediately begin to race and expect the worst. They pound out  rhythms of defeat. They pulsate with fear. But new hearts are available. Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." With these new hearts, come new ways of seeing life. Trembling can be replaced with steadfastness.  Troubles don't disappear, but they no longer lead to heart failure. The great thing about this type of transplant is there is no waiting list or need to find the perfect match. The psalmist just asked for a new heart. In the New Testament, Jesus promised, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Luke 11:9. No insurance policy required.

After a physical transplant, patients typically have a lifetime of medications to sustain their new found health. The same is true of a spiritual transplant. Maintenance is required. I find that my heart is subject to weakness if I don't care for it properly. The medicine for spiritual maintenance is prayer, scripture and fellowship with others who encourage, support and help with healing. The new heart you have received won't ever be taken away, but it may not function properly if you don't care for it. Don't forget you daily doses to keep you heart strong!

There are amazing outcomes from a spiritual heart transplant. Our prognosis is found in Psalm 112:7  "They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." I have a feeling that the Bingham family can claim that verse. I know I have found it to be true. The reporter of the Binghams's story said that it wasn't just the Bingham's that had been changed through this experience, but it was all of them involved with the story. He was changed. That is the power of a transplanted heart. It can touch others as well! 

I hope you will find the power of a transplanted heart!

Here is a link to this amazing family's story. Pray for their family! Their story will be featured on Dateline 6/5/2013.

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