Country music and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs gives credit to feeling '150 per cent' after God prompted him to get his heart checked.
"It was a major blessing I didn't have a heart attack. Nothing was hurt, and nothing was destroyed or irreparable. It was just by the mercy and grace of God that all of this happened in this way," Skaggs told People Magazine in an exclusive interview.
On June 10, 2020, Skaggs had a doctors appointment for his heart, and the next day the doctor phoned and asked him to come in for a follow-up angiogram. He thought about pushing it further ahead, as Skaggs and his wife were set to visit with their son and daughter-in-law who were expecting a new baby.
"Scripture tells us God always knows the thoughts of man," Skaggs told People. "That was proven to me at that moment. It was like I saw the Lord with a jeweler's eye glass on. He was peering at me but never said a word. But just by His look, I knew He was saying, 'Absolutely no.' It put the fear of God in me. He had given me so many grace situations, but He was serious that I needed to take care of this now."
Instead of pushing ahead the angiogram appointment, Skaggs went and four days later he had his quadruple by-pass surgery in Nashville.
For roughly six months prior to the surgery, Skaggs knew something was wrong as he was easily winded, he experienced tightness in his chest, and had trouble breathing.
"God gives us grace, but we all have a tendency to kick in the boundaries of that grace," Skaggs says. "Sometimes, we are like a bull running through the fence of grace. But then, there comes a time when He has to come after us. I knew that I couldn't stand in the shadows of my heart situation anymore."
Skaggs spent a total of four days in the hospital following the surgery, surrounded by family.
"Don't put off tomorrow what you can do today," Skaggs says as an encouragement for people to get checked out when they feel something wrong.
He understands that things could have turned out much worse for him had he not acted on God's prompting.
"I have thanked the Lord hundreds of times that I wasn't out in the middle of Texas on a tour bus, miles away from a hospital," he says.
Since the surgery he has felt better than ever, sharing with People Magazine that he feels 150 per cent. Skaggs has even gotten back on stage and performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville this past September.
"That surgery gave me a brand-new heart. Not only a real heart, but a spiritual heart that has now been cleaned out, so I can hear Him better than ever before."