…my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. ESV 1 Samuel 30:13
In the verse above, David has found an Egyptian man, a servant to one of the Amalekites who had carried off David’s wives and children from Ziklag. Since the man became sick and was a liability, his master had cast him aside…and lived (or died) to regret it as this servant told David where to find the Amalekites which led to their destruction and the deliverance of David’s wives. While the master thought it best to discard of his servant, in marriage we don’t have that luxury.
I feel like I got hit by a truck today. Not sure if it’s a touch of the flu or something else, but I cam home early from work. Unfortunately, our end of year small group party was tonight, and I found myself in bed while my wife managed to clean the house, prep the food and engage the kids (a full-time job in itself with five of them). I felt bad that I was no help to her, but I honestly didn’t fee like getting out of bed. My wife, being the incredibly gracious woman that she is, managed to get the house clean, the food made, and the party started…all while managing the kids as well. I’m not sure what was going through her mind, but I know when she is sick, it’s hard to pick up the load of your spouse (while caring for them) and still maintain a good attitude.
Perhaps this is part of our spiritual formation. When both of us are in good health, marriage at times can be easy. Let illness take one partner out, and suddenly what may have been a decent balance tips heavily onto the well partner. Perhaps because we are Americans, but most likely because we are human, we seem wired to want fairness. It’s hardly fair that one spouse is ill while the other struggles to pick up the load (while tired and perhaps filling less than 100% themselves). In these moments, we have opportunity to draw greater strength from God, focusing on the sacrifice of Christ for us, so that we are able to love and continue on even when it’s tough. Yes, perhaps our greatest spiritual formation comes in sickness. Grrr…I don’t like that!