At the beginning of the New Year, in 2008, I was told that I must have my Aortic Heart Valve replaced. I sat across the desk from my doctor as she questioned me concerning symptoms I may or may not have experienced. My honest answer to each question was “NO!” I truly was not aware of a problem. I finally said, “Nothing is wrong with me.”
“Well,” she replied. “We might be able to put it off.”
“NO,” I declared. “Now that you say it must be done, then it must be done. I know me. Every day it is delayed, I will imagine it to be my last day.” So much for optimism!
I was unhappy to learn that the surgery would be done in Oakland, in the Bay area. Oakland was a two-hour drive from my home. I had no friends or acquaintances there, so it promised to be a lonely sojourn. I did complain to the Lord about it. I told Him it was ridiculous to go so far, when I could just as easily go to Sacramento thirty-five miles away.
In preparation for the surgery, it was necessary to make a trip to the hospital in Oakland for further tests. I was ushered into the intake waiting area, where I was given a little cot where I could rest. A Doctor came to sit by me. We talked and laughed together for a moment. Then she asked how I felt. I told her that I had been having some indigestion, which was unusual for me.
This lovely lady looked me in the eye, and said, “My dear, you are not going home today. We are going to find a surgeon and get this done before nightfall.”
Up to that moment, I had been my usual happy, laughing self—joking with everyone, but when I was told that the surgery was eminent, I felt like crying. “No, no,” I said. I have no family here. My niece is coming to be with me for the surgery. I don’t want to do this alone.”
I was whisked away for an Angiogram that would identify any blockage in the heart that could be taken care of during the surgery. The doctors doing the procedure were a bunch of cut-ups. I wasn’t sedated, so we were soon teasing and laughing again.
The surgery was not performed that day, but they wouldn’t let me go home. They insisted on keeping me overnight as a precaution.
Later in the evening, after I had been taken to my room, the same doctor, who had questioned me earlier, came to see me. This pretty lady stood by my bed and told me the strangest story. After all these years I do not remember all the details, but in essence, she said,
“I dreamed that I went to Tibet, and I visited the Dalai Lama. He was so kind, and he told me many interesting things. That day I met THE HAPPIEST MAN IN THE WORLD.”
Then, looking me squarely in the eyes, she said, “And today, I have met THE HAPPIEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD.”
In that split second, I knew exactly why it was necessary to have this surgery in Oakland rather than Sacramento surrounded by friends.
God sent me to Oakland for the sake of this Doctor. You know, God does do things like that.
Taking the Doctor’s hand in mine, I said, “Let me tell you why I am so happy.”
I had the unequaled privilege of sharing, with this searching woman, the truth of the gospel and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I do not know the outcome of our conversation, for I never saw that doctor again. However, I was able to lead her to the only source of genuine happiness.
For the most part, I believe, we are totally unaware of the multitude of people who are looking for—longing for some semblance of happiness. Happiness, for the most part, is fleeting, for it depends upon people, and things, and events. When people fail and things are gone, happiness evaporates, and we are forced to go looking again.
In Psalm 144:15, King David tells us, “…Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” I believe this means that putting God first in my life is the only means to lasting happiness. People sometimes give their hearts to the Lord, but they never give Him their lives. Making Him my Master, my Lord means that I give Him control. I let Him call the shots. He is in charge.
I do believe that God blesses those who are faithful to Him. Temporal gifts are a part of happiness, but still the heart and soul of happiness lies in the individual being right with God, and having full possession of Him. Even if we never have earthly blessings, we have something better.
Charles Spurgeon said, “If we have not the silver of earth, we have the gold of heaven, which is better still.”
An old children’s song says:
Happiness is to know the Savior
Living a life within His favor
Having a change in my behavior
Happiness is the Lord!
Is He the source of your happiness?
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!