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WPC Pulse - March 2015

The Divine Beta Blocker...
Ruth Bates, MD

There is a definite lag time between what God is teaching me and what I have managed to learn, but—be that as it may—I think God is trying to teach me to slow down and include soul rest and relaxation in my list of daily essentials.

Being someone prone to illustrate simple truths with complex analogies (and having just finished my cardiology rotation), I recalled from the mists of medical school that the real work of the cardiac cycle—the part that takes up all the ATP energy stores—is diastole. Systole is passive, though it gets all the attention. In medicine, we feel someone’s wrist to count their pulses not their relaxations.

And yet, it would probably be more physiologically correct to call that ominous flat line on the ECG monitor “a-diastole” rather than “asystole.” Everyone knows that’s a medical emergency requiring lights, sirens and code charts, but what about spiritual a-diastole in our own lives? Do I take the lack of soul-rest in my heart to Christ as a time-sensitive emergency?

In addition to being the true effort-requiring stage of the cardiac cycle, diastole is the only time that the exhausted cardiac muscle gets blood. No diastole, no blood. And yet we allow our souls to remain in persistent unstable tachyarrhythmia (a-fib with RVR, if you will) for weeks, months and years at a time. We think we can rest our souls later, just after this next hurdle or deadline. But I suspect there are forms of spiritual “tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy” in this world, reversible—yes—but deeply debilitating.

Into our days (harassed by distractions if not by duties), Jesus speaks His invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, KJV). Christ offers to be our Divine Beta Blocker, teaching our restless souls to “Be still, and know that I am God...” (Psalm 46:10a, NIV 2011). And that Divine Beta Blocker has eternal mortality benefit. He says, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b,NKJV).

The world isn’t going to tell us to rest in Christ, all they care about is the cardiac output of activity, involvement, achievement, completion and success. But we know better, or at least we should.

Lord, we need your divine cardioversion. Teach us to walk in your normal sinus rhythm.

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