Love: In Sickness and in Health
Remember that part of your wedding vows when they say in sickness and in health? Well I got to that part of my vows this past week. First Maurice got sick with a very bad cold and missed some time at work, then being his wife of course, I got sick right behind him. Thankfully, by the time I got sick we were all on our Christmas break. However, the kids were home from school and there was a ton of laundry in the basement. You know how that is. It was also a good time for me to reflect and to read the Bible and pray.
Once again, I stumbled onto Luke 11. This is the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus. I saw love in this chapter in a way that I never saw it before. Notice that there are three verses in which love itself is mentioned.
In verse 3 it says "..he whom thou lovest is sick".
In verse 5 it says "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus".
In verse 36 it says "..then said the Jews behold how he loved him!".
In verses 33, 35 and 38 we see Jesus groaning in his spirit and weeping. He is showing emotional reactions to what was happening around him.
When we think of love we often think of emotional reactions, but the Bible teaches us that it is emotional but much more! Love is an action word and we see this clearly clearly in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. He loved him and so he waited to go to him although Lazarus was ill. He loved him and so he took his time to see him even though he had died three days prior. He loved him and then he raised him from the dead so that all would believe.
When we speak of love concerning our spouses we need to ask ourselves why we love them and how we show that love. When I was sick Maurice fixed me breakfast and lunch in bed. He gave me my essential oils that I use and he let me rest. He took care of our boys and made sure that I was undisturbed so that my body could heal. It was in his actions and not his words that he showed his love in sickness and in health.
Honestly, it is harder to love when people are not in their best state. They are not putting their best foot forward. They don't look good. Let's be real, they don't even smell good. Martha told Jesus that Lazarus really smelled by now and and that going to see him at the tomb might not be a good idea. But Jesus loved him.
What sacrifices are we willing to make for our spouses in sickness and in health?
You see, that is how God is glorified. In every circumstance, He is present. Mary & Martha both said "If you had been here Jesus my brother would not have died". I want to tell you that He is always here. With you. With me. When we are sick he can be glorified and when we are healthy he can be glorified too. His love is stronger than death. He loves us in sickness and in health, till death, and then afterwards for eternity.
So next time that your spouse is feeling ill, think of it as an opportunity to show love. Love makes sacrifices. Love does not seek its own, it seeks to glorify God. It looks a lot like Jesus who showed up, entered their struggle and brought life out of death.