Yes, there is a place for technology. But this same body of knowledge is accomplishing something unexpected. Using these new devices and techniques, we are now discovering how activities such as worship can change chemical reactions in our bodies—reactions that affect every cell, muscle, and organ. We can identify how rest, nutrition, and even laughter help cure our ills and strengthen our immune systems. These “treatments” enable disease to be fought at the cellular level. This information has not been readily made available. And there’s a reason, which we’ll identify later.

But there’s a downside to advancing technology. As it expands, we tend to look more and more at what we can do as human beings. We start worshiping at the altar of science instead of at the feet of the One who made us. As we start to see our symptoms diminish, we think we’ve found a cure. So who needs God? And the deception deepens.

The most important question we need to be asking ourselves is not, How can we get well? but rather, Why are we sick? That is the only question that can lead to finding the “ultimate fix.”

Number One Killer

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in America, and its worldwide prevalence continues to rise. Some sources will contend that doctors, hospitals, medications, overdosages, and medical errors are surpassing cardiovascular disease as the number one source of death, and this may be true. But both statistics support the same conclusion. Neither patients nor doctors are clear about what exactly causes heart disease and how best to combat it. There are many theories regarding the causes.

One common theory blames inflammation and damage to the inner layer of blood vessels, the endothelium. Another theory is that the real cause of the condition is genetic. But genetic alterations take many, many generations to develop. Heart disease was practically unheard of a hundred years ago, and there are still places on earth where very few suffer from this condition. For instance, in Africa, rural China, and other parts of the world where the diet is less Western (in other words, more plant based), the prevalence of cardiovascular disease is much lower.

In about half the cases of cardiovascular disease, the first manifestation is a heart attack. In other words, patients don’t know the attacks are coming, and their doctors are not entirely clear about what triggers the attacks. That is why education is crucial.

Over the next twenty-four hours, around three thousand American hearts will malfunction. This is nearly the same number of persons who died in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. This comes to 1.1 million heart attacks a year. One out of three people will die at the time of the initial event or within the first twelve months after it.

Forty percent of Americans have cardiovascular disease of some sort, and in women the death rate from this condition is eight times higher than the death rate from cancer. In fact, in women, cardiovascular disease poses a greater risk than breast cancer and all other diseases combined. Those numbers continue to climb.

I need to say something that may startle and even anger you. But I’m just the messenger, so please don’t shoot. It has been estimated that 80 to 90 percent of cardiovascular disease is acquired. That’s right. The painful truth is that we give the disease to ourselves by the choices we make over a lifetime. We create the chronic condition that brings about the acute event by placing endless stressors on our systems—stressors that eventually do us in.

David did not even know he had a problem until that early Wednesday morning when he felt as if an elephant had sat down on his chest to rest. I thank God that after the event, David began his search for the ultimate prescription. When he was faced with death, he started to evaluate the reasons he had a heart attack.