This past week has been a difficult one for me. An upper respiratory infection moved in and took over. It sapped my strength leaving me so weak that I was constantly falling asleep. I couldn't concentrate enough to write this column nor stay awake long enough to do so. Fits of incessant coughing also got the best of me making me exhausted from sometimes fifteen minutes of continual coughing.

I was not able to get into a doctor's office until Friday so, for three days, I bore the brunt of the infection and struggled to make a go of it. My wife's birthday was Thursday evening and my oldest son came in from Kenosha, Wisconsin, to be with the family as we celebrated her birthday. Though I got quite a bit of sleep Wednesday night I napped for several hours Thursday morning.

Friday was "get John off to Wisconsin" and "get to the doctor" time. After taking care of those items and getting my prescriptions filled I once again snoozed. I cannot remember being this tired with anything before. At the end of each day I was so bedraggled that falling asleep was not a chore even though my day was mostly spent asleep.

Exhaustion is exhausting. It is amazing how, when the body is beset by something that happens to it, a person gets so tired they cannot concentrate. During my more lucid moments this week I thought about Jesus and how much he suffered before he even carried the cross. The beatings and whippings he absorbed had left him almost drained of blood. His blood pressure had to be deathly low; so low that most men would have been in a coma.

But Jesus carried the cross up the long trail to Golgotha to be crucified for you and me. This Valentine's Day morning I asked my Lord how much He loved me. He said, "This much," and spread His arms wide and died. He had every opportunity to die before the cross from the beatings he received. His love drove Him to Calvary; love for you and me.