On Nov. 7 while riding up the Anatone Grade on my bicycle, I suffered a major heart attack. Forty-five minutes later, I was in surgery to put a stent in the right side of my heart. The artery was 100 percent blocked.
During the surgery, doctors found three other blockages on the other side. They took me by ambulance to Kootenai Medical to undergo a triple bypass surgery a few days later.
As a Christian, I am compelled to share this with my readers. When the attack hit, I laid my bike over and fell to the side of the road. I did have a cellphone, so I called 911.
Before anyone stopped to help me, I experienced what the Bible calls a peace that surpasses understanding: “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
As I laid there, I felt the Lord’s presence like no other time in my life. I told him, “If it is time, Lord, I am ready to go.” The word of God says in 1 John 4:8: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” I truly experience the depth of his love: “That you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18)
I am sharing this to give praise, honor and glory to Jesus Christ. The same promises are there for every Christian. That was my experience, but I also learned a very important lesson. How many time have you said, “I’ll see you tomorrow and we will have a great time.” Here is what James 4:13 says: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;’ whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
From the time of my heart attack, I now say, “See you tomorrow, God willing.” That was my experience, and my lesson. All of this has given me a new sense of urgency to share the gospel. You will find a more in-depth explanation in 1 Corinthians 15. Basically the gospel, the good news, is that Jesus came and lived a perfect life, he was crucified for the sin of the world, he died, he was buried and, three days later, he rose from the grave.
Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Did you note the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life? All we need do is repent of our sin and ask Jesus to come live in our lives.
I can’t close this without sharing the most powerful scripture in the bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
So many people walking around in this world think they have thousands and thousands of tomorrows. That line of thinking stopped for me when I went down with a heart attack. I love writing to “From the Pulpit” and will continue to do so, “God willing.”
Evangelist Nick Hasselstrom is pastor at ROXY 714 on Main Street in Lewiston, a partner of Cross Tied Ministries.