Dirofilaria immitis are parasitic roundworms. They are very tiny, like threads and get into their hosts through mosquito bites. Once in, they squirm their way about and work themselves into the heart and lungs causing dirofilariasis. Usually they infect dogs, but can also work themselves into cats, wolves, coyotes, jackals, foxes, ferrets, bears, seals, sea lions and sometimes humans. Dirofilaria immitis is commonly called “heartworm” as adult heartworms may migrate to the heart and pulmonary artery. Untreated it will lead to death, due to congestive heart failure.
Just the thought of insidious little worms subtly creeping about inside is most assuredly unsettling. Imagine how you might feel coming home with such a diagnosis! I’m sure it would keep you up at night imagining or perhaps actually feeling these things squirming about through their tissues! Ugh!
But this is exactly the sort of disgusting thing that happens to a soul spiritually if one allows the toxic saliva of self-love to enter them and the lifeblood of God’s Love (Agapé) to be sucked from them. Self-love worms its way deeper end deeper into the tissue of the heart. It paralyzes the flow of Agapé and the heart begins to harden… to grow cold… to die!
But there is a cure! There is a Great Physician equipped to handle this emergency. But I warn you it will require surgery. You will need to surrender yourself completely to His knife. In dogs, Dirofilaria immitis brings cough, fatigue, decreased appetite, weight loss, and finally death. In humans the best strategy is to guard against the disease. Spiritually, we must be diligent to guard our hearts against infection by an increasingly self-loving society. The warning is at once ancient, and current, and prophetic…
“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Prov. 4:20-23)
To hear Pastor John’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Feb. 16 message.