Summary: Rest, rest, rest. This is what I was told after my heart attck at age 34. It’s one thing to be told what you need to do, it’s another thing to be shown where the answer is.
Just Get Some Rest!
It’s funny that one of my favorite Bible verses, John 14:27, mentions the word “heart”. You see, I had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago, and that is one verse that I have been continually going back to. The KJV reads,
“Let not your heart be troubled: neither let it be afraid.”
In this instance in the book of John, Jesus was speaking to his disciples, but as for every Christian in the world, when we read the words of Jesus Christ it is as clear and personal for us today as it was for the disciples 2000 years ago. Jesus is speaking to us through the Bible and the Holy Spirit, but the meaning of his words and the directions have not changed, nor will they ever.
I found out this week that there are many factors that can cause a heart attack. Being that I am only 34 years old, I guess I never thought of the damage that I was doing to my body with what I was putting into it. I mean, I am not overweight, I am not diabetic, I am not in bad shape (having 5 kids keeps some form of healthiness I thought), I did not have real high blood pressure (just a little bit), I did not have real high cholesterol (just a little bit), I cut way back on my smoking and smoked a lot less than I used to (I smoked just a little bit), I was unsure of my real family history in regards to heart problems, I knew there were some issues there (but just a little bit). All of that being said, there are a lot of “little bitty” factors that can cause a heart attack, and they did.
Now I am in the minority of people my age, under 35, I’ve had a heart attack, 2 stints placed in my heart, on 7 medications, a very heart healthy diet and exercise routine is critical for my life, I am very tired, need an afternoon nap, somewhat irritable, somewhat scared, well, I guess a lot scared now.
My wife, Heather, is scared also. How much I should walk, avoid the stairs, don’t go get the newspaper alone, watch your meds and take them all, she is concerned of her cooking for me, that I eat right, that I rest enough, that the kids don’t bother me, that the kids aren’t too loud around me, that I exercise soon, but not too soon because I need to rest now. Heather is scared, and Heather is tired.
“Let not your heart be troubled.”
These are words of hope, and rest. Rest is something that everyone is telling me that I need. Rest, rest, rest. My doctors told me this, my nurses, my mother, my employer, my friends, and of course, Heather. She needs me to rest, she loves me.
“Just get some rest” I heard time and time again. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
But it is hard to “rest” after a heart attack. There is a lot going on in the heart, but more so in the mind.
Rest, rest, rest. It’s one thing to be told what you need to do, it’s another thing completely to be shown where the answer is.
Let’s take a look at 3 types of rest: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual, and begin by examining the physical first.
I. Physical Rest
The physical rest I can attest to first hand of its importance. I know that I have needed it this last week, as everyone has continually told me so. But what is real ‘rest’?
Rest is defined as “a cessation of all work, activity, or motion”. Sounds like a vacation, doesn’t it? But have you ever been on a vacation that was supposed to be a cessation of all work and activity only to get back home and realize that you needed a vacation from your vacation? Rest can be hard work sometimes if not done properly.
Physical rest is completely letting your body replenish itself, it’s letting others do things for you normally you would do on your own. It’s about saying “No” occasionally when you are asked for a favor instead of always saying “yes”. It’s about lying on the couch, sleeping a little later, letting some minor tasks get a little behind or rescheduled for another day. All of this sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But it is difficult to do when you are not used to doing it. It is hard to rest when you are not used to getting that physical rest.
The book of I Samuel chapter 30:1-10 (NIV)
1: And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;