God is our refuge and strength
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
The Day I Was Given More Years
When I was in my late forties and early fifties I did a lot of running. I was attempting to get myself in better physical condition, and also I was doing something I loved to do as a boy, run. I was raised on a large farm, and cotton was the major crop. I remember once discarding the sack I was dragging while picking cotton to chase a rabbit I spied. In only a few moments I overtook the poor thing and captured it in my hands. My fleetness of foot was one of my cherished talents. Now, after the years had passed by so swiftly, I was once again running and enjoying every minute of it. I entered some 5k races and won some trophies and medals. To take second or third place was a delight for me, but I never could capture first place.
I would run across a lake dam and back each day at least once, the distance one way being a mile and a quarter. On one particular day I decided to go to a fitness center owned by the hospital my wife worked for as a nurse. The reason for this was because the humidity was so high, and I felt the air conditioned fitness center would be a welcome change. While running on a treadmill there I felt unusually tired, so I stopped for awhile to catch my breath. Upon returning to the treadmill I nodded my head in greeting to a lady who had gotten on the one next to mine. That is the last thing I remember about being on the treadmill.
I regained consciousness in the emergency room of the hospital and was told I had suffered a major heart attack while on the treadmill. I was also told that because there was the equipment needed for reviving a heart attack victim kept in the fitness center I lived to tell the story. My heart, I was informed, had completely stopped beating, and there was no sign of life showing on the instrument used to monitor my heart. Three times, they told me, I was given an electrical charge to revive me, and then once again in the emergency room. I also learned the lady who stepped onto the treadmill next to mine was responsible for my survival, as she took charge of reviving me. This lady, a nurse, will always be very special to me, and I consider her my sister for life. I believe with all my heart God put her there at that precise time for my benefit.
The heart doctor assigned to my case very seriously told me God had something in store for me yet to do on earth, because I should not have survived the heart attack. He told me the number of survivors of what I went through was very small. I believed he was right by telling me God still had something for me to do, and I immediately set about seeking to get much closer to God than I had been. I was, needless to say, very grateful and thankful to God for sparing my life. That has been around 13 years ago, and God has used me, praise be to His holy name!
I went on to have bypass surgery shortly after my heart attack, and God blessed me with the strength to again run another 5k race, this time only three months after my bypass surgery. I finished third in my age group. I no longer run, due to failing knees, but God still allows me the great privilege of serving Him. The race I run now is a spiritual one. His mercy and kindness are beyond mortal words to define. The day of my heart attack I was mercifully given more years.
© 2006 Thomas E. Kittrell