When I am sick, I go back to my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Suffice it to say that in the last week, I've watched the A & E version once (6 hours of it!) and am getting ready to re-watch it. In addition to that, I have read 90% of the novel. Bottom line: I've been sick....
My antibiotic runs out tomorrow and I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with my doctor.. again... This time a week and a half ago, I had no idea that I would soon be coughing and hacking my way through life, taking antihistamines, antibiotics, vitamins, cough medicine, and also dragging tissue around with me like it was pure gold.
Basically my priorities changed suddenly and my world narrowed dramatically.
The hardest thing in all of this, honestly, has been to accept it and give thanks, without worrying where it all might lead.
I'm an Olympic worrier. When I have bronchitis that hangs on, I worry about it going into pneumonia (which has happened to me before). While I'm normally not too enamored of my appearance, when I see my blood-shot eyes in the mirror and notice how red my face looks when I'm trying hard to cough and breathe at the same time, I have to wonder what my husband sees in me and I feel anxiety about that. And when, after a particularly bad coughing fit, I find myself breathing hard as if I've been running a marathon, I wonder how long my body is going to keep on ticking... Surely the warranty must be pretty dog-eared and faded by now...
Yet the Bible says to give thanks in all things. All things...
And the Bible says that God works all things to our good if we love Him and are called according to His purpose.
And the Bible says that it is appointed for us once to die and it goes on to say that even before we were born, He knew all of our days beforehand. In other words, our job is to trust Him and live for Him. His job is to monitor our span of life and bring us safely Home when it is the right time.
Meanwhile, there is a celestial love story going on. One that is far greater than the aristocratic Mr. Darcy, humbling himself beyond anyone's wildest dreams, forcing himself to go into the slums of London to hunt down a man he despises in order to use his own money to bribe that man into marrying a woman who is equally despicable.
But, for the love of a woman, a woman who has actually spurned him in no uncertain terms, Mr. Darcy does all this and more.
I love the irony in the novel but I think the love story speaks to the depths of humanity. Whether we admit it or not, most of us want someone to love us like that. Someone who is infinitely desirable, far above us in life, but who moves Heaven and earth, not just for anyone, but for us.
This morning, when I was the sickest I've been throughout this week-long inconvenience of sinus drainage and such, I found myself going through the house, searching for lozenges or anything that would alleviate my ear and throat pain and as I went through the house, I found myself from time to time whispering, "Help me."
And Someone did.
I guess I'm just saying, there is a far greater love story, a universal one; in fact, an eternal one, that far eclipses the love story of Darcy and Elizabeth.
When God sent His Son to win our souls, He literally moved Heaven and Earth to do it.
And even when we are at our worst, this is something to be thankful for.