I will praise you, Lord my God,
with all my heart
and glorify your name forever,
for your love to me has been great:
you have saved me from the depths of the grave.
Psalm 85 (LXX)
* * *
As I look back over the last couple of years of my life, these verses ring especially true: by grace I have been brought back from the edge, as I tottered self-destructively along. An unexpected pregnancy forced me to grow up all over again, and embrace the vocation that God has given me. I have been surprised to find that in the midst of sleepless nights and the juggling that is the way of life of any working mother, I have discovered energy and enthusiasm for writing, and I am slowly working on various things in odd moments.
But Psalm 85 is not about me, I realize as I read the verses again: the only path back from the grave for me is the way of the cross. I am saved not so much in this life, for this life (though I am grateful to have been restored to hopefulness), but in Christ, for eternal life. These verses are about the One who went down into the depths of the grave and rose again: in him we are all saved.
If Lent is about remembering and embracing the desert temptations and the way of the cross, it is also about looking forward to Easter.
Lord, give our bodies restful sleep; and let the work we have done today be sown for an eternal harvest.