Keep Calm and Read a Psalm 32:3-5:
“When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”
I’ve been told I’m an old man in a young man’s body. And never have I felt that more than last year when I got bursitis. Say what? Yes, apparently I didn’t stretch properly when I went hiking with a pack, and I developed something called bursitis: an inflammation of the bursa sacs that protect the hip joints. Blah, blah, blah—science, science, science. All I knew was that it hurt—like crazy! I limped around for weeks, with the pain consistently getting worse and worse. Just to get out of bed, I had to use a cane (yes, in fact I do own a cane. If you’re interested, they sell them at the Dollar Store. Such handy things to have). And it only got worse each day when I carried all seventy of my theological textbooks in my purse—I mean, Indiana-Jones-style man-bag…er, messenger bag sounds better. Ya. Let’s go with that. I had always carried it, but quickly learned it was making the hip pain worse. Putting all that weight on one side of my body apparently didn’t help Mr. Bursa feel better. It didn’t stop until I went to the doctor and got some pills for the pain. Then, the problem cleared right up.
I understood what David was talking about in Psalm 32. Although Psalm 51 is more well-known, Psalm 32 is likewise a gem on God’s forgiveness. David says he kept silence about his sin and began to feel the side effects. Like my man-bag, his iniquity began to weigh down on him–and his “bones grew old” and “groaned.” It was as if God’s Hand was pressing down on him, showing him his guiltiness and his need of forgiveness. David developed spiritual bursitis—an aching of the very fiber of his being. A striving against the God Who made him. He lost all vitality. He felt thirsty and dry. Like me, hobbling along the hiking path, limping under the burden of the pack, desperately looking for a stream or lake to quench my thirst.
But then he finally decides to take the medicine. And be healed. He confesses his sin. He didn’t hide it—he didn’t make excuses. He agreed with God—“Ya, You’re right! I’ve done wrong. I’ve sinned against You, a Holy God. Could You ever forgive me?”
Yes, He can (1 John 1:9).
God forgave David’s sin. And He can forgive yours. The Hebrew word for forgive is the idea of “lifting off.” David was carrying a great weight—like Pilgrim from Pilgrim’s Progress. The guilt and shame and vile deeds were weighing on him like a heavy pack, making his bones ache and his tongue grow dry with exhaustion. But like Pilgrim, he found Someone to take his pack away. God “lifted off” the burden of his sin…at Calvary. And He placed it on Someone Who could bare it—Christ Jesus. With one glance at the Cross, the burden rolled off and found its new home, buried in the empty tomb.
You can have your sin forgiven as well. No matter what it is. No matter how bad you think it is. If you’re feeling the weight today, no cane will help you. Only a visit to the “doctor” can relieve the pain you feel and lift the burden off.
-Matthew W., SC