It appears that my husband will have by-pass surgery in his left calf next week. Apparently, one of the arteries is blocked nearly 100%. The doctors say that this is rare in someone like him—a non-smoker and non-diabetic. No one can say why he developed PAD (peripheral arterial disease), but he did. If not treated, the lack of blood could result in a dead foot or leg needing amputating.
PAD reminds me of our need to connect to Christ’s life to flow through us if we are to be healthy and fruitful believers (John 15:4-5).
My husband had the classic signs of PAD—his calf tightened and hurt when he walked for a while, but stopping briefly brought him relief.
What are some signs of Christian arterial disease?
I can think of far too many that I exhibit—negative emotions bubbling up, stress building up, ministry without joy, and prayer as a to-do list—to name only a few. At a point in my life when I reached burn out, I had them all.
Those of us who are too busy, stressed, and overworked will show signs of this disease. It doesn’t matter whether we are involved in church or mission work, secular jobs, or children’s activities. When our lives are too stretched to make room for God, we block Jesus’s life flowing through us.
Caring for our souls is essential to our spiritual health. We can’t allow other things to replace it, even very good things. We need time to sit with God, to listen to his Word and his voice, and to talk with him with honestly and humility, confessing our sins and giving him our praise.
Committing to do it is the only way I have found to make this work for me. When I fail to plan my day around time with God and his Word, I never get around to it. When I forget to set my calendar for frequent periods with him, those around me see it. When I begin to think that God understands if I don’t have time for him, I fool myself into thinking that no one will notice.
Whether most of your time is spent at home, in the workplace, or as a volunteer, you must find time to care for your soul or find yourself showing the signs of clogged spiritual arteries. Get up early, use your lunch break, or put the kids to bed early—whatever works best for you. Commit and plan it.