Many years ago I participated in women’s retreats that included a worship session that dealt with helping the participants release long-buried hurts. I was amazed at some of the conversations that followed that session. One in particular has stayed with me. I sat under a piano with a woman until 2:30 in the morning as she told me a life story that involved an affair, an unwanted pregnancy, a secret abortion, a life of regret, self-abuse, and depression. She had released all of that at the altar at the conclusion of the evening, and was finally ready and able to tell someone the things she had carried in her heart for decades. I saw the release, healing, and new start that being forgiven brought to this woman. The transformation was profound. Happy are those who are forgiven!
Today’s Psalm is a reminder that the forgiven are the blessed ones. Other translations use the word “happy” instead of “blessed.” This is a psalm of David, who knew what it meant to be forgiven after carrying the burden of sin for so long. His own foray into adultery, murder, coveting, deceit, and disobedience made him an expert on this subject:
Psalm 32 (ESV)
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
David gives us first-hand knowledge of the relief he felt after he finally opened up and was honest with God and himself. He felt the heaviness of God’s hand upon him until he finally acknowledged his actions. When he released it, he discovered that God is a hiding place of refuge:
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
Is God calling you to release something buried deep in your soul? Is he saying that it is time to unburden, and let forgiveness be your blessing? Steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. God wants nothing more than to remove the heaviness of things you have carried for too long. IT IS TIME.
Won’t you let him?
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart