Read Psalm 32
Of David. A maskil.
1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!
“I’m fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.” This is a common refrain these days. Is it because everything truly is fine; we have no worries, no problems, no regrets? Hmmmm…don’t think so! Our community is divided by politics, perspective, and purpose – not fine. Our bodies are burdened by ailments, disease, and exhaustion – not fine. Our minds are bombarded with conflicting information, false truths, and tempting escapes – not fine. Our hearts are heavy with fear, failure, and isolation – not fine.
Then, why do we claim a constant state of “fine?” Why do we hold the pain inside ourselves and proceed in the path of pointless perseverance? What is the alternative?
David offers the alternative in Psalm 32. Many theologians believe David wrote this Psalm in response to his betrayal with Bathsheba, in recognition of his sin. Verse 3-4 states, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” When David held the truth of his actions and the pain of sin inside himself, he was not fine! He was unable to function, spending his time constantly frustrated with emotional/mental/spiritual aching. He was physically drained from the guilt and shame. But then, in verse 5, we see the alternative to false “fineness.” David proclaims, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
Words hold power. What we hold on to, holds on to us! When we keep our pain, our fear, and our sin inside us, those are the things that consume us. They are too big, too terrible, too shameful to share, so we simply say, “I’m fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.” But, instead, we can acknowledge our sin and stop covering up our shortcomings. When we admit our pain, our fear, and our sin, the Holy Spirit’s power takes hold of us and ushers us back into the hope, love, and forgiveness of God.
- When someone close to you asks, “How are you doing?,” what is your response?
- David describes the physical and mental effects of keeping his pain inside. What are some ways keeping pain, fear, and sin inside yourself affects you physically, mentally, and/or emotionally?
- What pain, fear, or sin are you holding on to? Why?