Anxiety and the Heart

As you let go of your anxieties and expectations, hope miraculously manifests and helps you to trust God for your tomorrows.

God always delivers His promises. God’s faithfulness has been shown in all circumstances, but perhaps not at the time I expected it. The important thing to remember is that God is always faithful.

What is required of us is to stand firm in faith as we wait on His timing.

Anxiety and the Heart by Arthur Constantine

As a cardiologist, I have witnessed many instances of His faithfulness. From the “mundane” continued good health after an initial heart attack and stent to the “spectacular” healing of one of my patients from cancer, His faithfulness is always amazing.

My patient, Linda, was convinced she had heart disease since our introduction in my office over 20 years ago. Every annual visit or frequent unscheduled “urgent” visit was always the same. The results of her tests revealed no issue with her physical heart.  

Everyone could see the worry in her eyes; the office nurse, receptionist, the EKG technician could all see it. Even other patients in the waiting room knew her symptoms! However, no matter the evidence that her heart was strong and healthy, Linda always left unsatisfied.

There was no convincing Linda that her physical heart was not the problem. She was physically experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, palpitations, a rapid heartbeat and a slow heartbeat which gave her the feeling that she was going to pass out. Nothing made anatomical sense. Early on, I would try unsuccessfully to convince Linda she was OK, yet, I left our appointments as unsatisfied as she was. Frustrated that I could not heal her, I felt discussing God’s truth with her would be best. Visit after visit, asking how she was doing only focused on what was not true. My job was much more rewarding as I encouraged her by focusing on God’s truth. Each appointment, I reminded Linda that God loved her until the next visit for more of the same.

One morning, my Bible reading focused on hope and faith in Hebrews 6:13-20. Later that day, I saw Linda in the office. She told me that two months earlier she went through a major surgical procedure to treat – not cure – a diagnosis of liver cancer. One would think all attention and efforts would now be focused on recovery from cancer, but remarkably, Linda’s heart remained to be her concern! I encouraged her to place all her prayer and effort on healing from this very serious diagnosis that left Linda’s other doctors with no hope of cure.

Over the next three years, Linda would look better physically, but there was something more than just her physical appearance. One visit, three years after the cancer surgery, I was amazed to come into the office to see Linda a different person. For the first time in 22 years, I saw peace in her eyes and joy in her heart. Physically, she had improved, but spiritually and emotionally, this was not the same person.

As we spoke, she even sounded different. I was instinctively led to hug her and tell her how wonderful she looked and for the first time, I didn’t have to convince her of it! As I apologized for keeping her waiting longer than usual, it took me by surprise to hear Linda say, “You are worth waiting for.” Linda went on to share an incredible experience she had while in the waiting room. As she waited for our appointment, Linda looked across at an elderly woman waiting to see her doctor. Linda felt the woman needed someone to talk to, so she rose from her chair and walked over to sit next to the woman. Linda shared that she felt God wanted her to speak with the woman as it looked like she needed comforting. Although I was somewhat perplexed to hear this come from Linda, I could see Linda truly enjoyed sharing her heart with this patient. It was how wonderful it was to see Linda’s heart so healed that she was now able to give of herself to help someone else’s heart! As I told Linda this, she began to cry. This time, I knew they were tears of joy and not tears of fear.

Linda confessed that over the last 22 years, she needed to come in to see me because at least for the moment, it would uplift her heart to hear how much God loved her and that all would be OK. Now, with what looked like a cure from a disease thought to be unresponsive to chemotherapy, Linda could see and feel in her heart how much God truly loved her. Before she heard it, but now she believed it.

God is faithful and His grace is always enough for all of us, all the time!