“For you have rescued my life from death,
my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.”
In my mid-twenties, I went through what my grandmother would call, “a rocky patch,” where I felt like I was simply stumbling along with life. Going to work was a chore; being at home was boring; the company of friends was trying, even difficult to stand in moments. In short, I seemed to be going from one thing to the next, not really noticing or caring about where I was, who I was with, or what the outcome of any particular situation might be.
And there have been moments in my life where my sadness and sorrow–deep sorrow–have seemed overwhelming. The death of my paternal grandfather was one of those moments. Feeling abandoned, and worse, not really wanting to be “found,” I preferred to step away from friends and family to be alone–something rather uncharacteristic of this raging extrovert. Those dark moments felt like the light and new life that God brings could ever pierce the shroud of darkness that covered me seemed as if they would always hold me down.
The author of Psalm 116 seems to have had those moments and come through them with the realization that God is always present with us, in the darkest hours and in the moments even when we wish no one would seek us out and find us. God is there, present, Emmanuel–God with us.
Perhaps there have been moments for you where you have felt ready for the grave–feeling abandoned, alone, separated, stumbling, eyes stinging from fresh tears wiped away from now-raw corners of your eyes. In those dark moments God comes and finds us and rescues us. In the moment we admit that we cannot do this by ourselves–whatever the “this,” is. In the moment when we give in, finally, and say to God, “Help me, because I cannot do this on my own,” God is there.
As God always has been and always will be.
Thanks be to God.