Lenten Devotion, Tuesday, February 23, 2021: By Kenneth Alger

LENTEN DEVOTION 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


By Kenneth Algers

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be Lazarus? I do not know about you, but I have always identified with those who mourned for him; those who grieved the loss of their loved one and the amazement they felt as Jesus redeemed their loss by bringing the dead to life. But what of Lazarus? What must it have been like for him?

On Friday, October 30 at 7:45 in the morning I was listening in on a conference call. The previous night I had been complaining of bad heartburn and had had difficulty sleeping. My wife, Vicki, came to check on me. I said I still had the heartburn but was fine. So she said she would go for her morning walk. Not two minutes later, as she was starting to walk out of the door, she heard me making a strange sound. Turning, she found me slumped over in my chair with my eyes glazed over. I had suffered what is referred to as a “Widow Maker” heart attack and was in cardiac arrest. She immediately called 911. They responded in eight minutes and took me directly to Methodist Hospital. From the time they reached me throughout my time in the emergency room, the medical personnel were continuously trying to resuscitate me, but my heart would not keep beating. Finally, they were able to insert a stent and an impeller to assist my heart’s function. This appeared to work but the doctors remained concerned that I would have brain damage and/or other organ damage due to lack of oxygen for the time my heart was not pumping. They were also afraid I might need a heart transplant. To take stress off of my organs and give my body time to recover, the physicians put me into hypothermia for two days to see how I would do.

I can tell you that I made a miraculous recovery. Not only did my body strengthen, but I had no brain or organ damage. My recovery is due in no small part to the efforts of the extraordinary medical personnel who cared for me. However, only our Gracious Lord could have breathed new life into me and made me whole again.

What I have struggled with is that I “experienced” very little of what I just described. I have no memory from the day before my heart attack until the following Saturday in the ICU. I lost eight days of my life. All I know of what happened has been communicated to me by my family and my doctors. I know my family grieved mightily, fearing they had lost me. I also know the amazement expressed by the medical staff at my remarkable recovery. My doctor was constantly bringing associates in to see me and show me off. It all felt very odd. I can imagine Lazarus must have had the same odd feeling - knowing something amazing had happened to him, but only being able to see it through the eyes of others.

Our Lord carried me through the valley. He carried me as a parent would a sleeping child. For truly I was His sleeping child. I can say I have no fear of death because I know my Savior. What I am trying to learn is to let go of my cares of this world and trust that whatever comes in life is a gift, a gift from our loving Father. 

About the Author
Ken Alger and his wife, Vicki, joined SMBC in 2015 and are active members of the Midtown South Main at Home group. They have 3 adult children, Sarah, Hannah, and Jack with grandbaby number one due in April. Ken loves the Lord.

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