I will never forget May 26, 2020 at 6;30am.
I don’t talk about it often. I don’t dwell on it. The events of that day have never caused me to dwell on them. However! People have quizzed me about it. On a number of occasions I have been asked, “What was it like to nearly die? Were you afraid?”
Let me take you with me into the sudden crisis of a massive heart attack. My plans for the day changed suddenly at around 6:30 that morning. I could hear the sirens and the air horns of the ambulance as we were rushing through traffic to get me to the hospital. I could see paramedic on the phone as he spoke to the ER physician. The news at the hospital was critical and would worsen quickly. A very concerned Cardiac Care Unit doctor would tell me, “Your heart is in distress. The helicopter is in the air coming to transport you the downtown campus of Cleveland Clinic. A team is assembling and will be waiting for you. I’m calling your family.”
It reminds me that the Apostle Peter went through tremendously difficult times in his life. He was no stranger to hardships. While not living in denial, listen to what he wrote to believers. “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13).
It is not a case of “if” hard times come. It is only of “when” will hard times come? I can share honestly with you from my own personal experience, that I found great help and peace because I remembered this little acrostic READER that I shared with so many over the years.
R stands for REMEMBER that He is God. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
E stands for EXAMINE my life. Be ready to receive His teaching. “Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation” (Psalm 25:4-5).
A stands for ADMIT my need for Him and His wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
D stands for DEPEND fully upon Him. Run to Him and trust Him. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
E stands for EXPRESS worship and praise to Him even in the hard times. “Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:3-5).
R stands for RESPOND obediently in faith to what He says in His Word. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
These six things are not from a textbook of theory. They are based on God’s Word and I can tell you friend, they really work. You don’t need to be in a life and death crisis. Whatever you are facing, these are the six principles you possess if you know Christ as your Savior. www.michaelpeck.org