As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Psalm 32 (NRSV)
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
When I was young, I got mad at my older sister and decided to try to get her in trouble by writing her initials on the basement wall. When my activity was finally discovered, I tried to feign ignorance. Then, I started making up excuses as to why it couldn’t have been me. When that didn’t work, I lied. I claimed to have seen my sister do the writing. Every time my parents asked us about it, I found myself digging a deeper and deeper hole. I was running out of excuses, my lies were getting less believable, and I spent all my time and effort worrying about what was going to happen when I was finally discovered.
I finally gave up and told my parents the truth. To my surprise, they told me that they already knew I had written on the wall. They were just waiting for me to come to them and admit it. Plus, they had already forgiven me!
After a long day of re-painting that part of the basement, and an embarrassing apology to my sister, I realized that a huge weight had been lifted from me. I didn’t have to worry about what I had done anymore. I was free to let it go and continue living my life. This happiness is the kind about which the psalmist wrote—the relief that comes from knowing you don’t have to hold on to your sin anymore because God is quick to forgive you for whatever you have done.
Forgiving God, thank you so much for loving us in spite of our many faults and failures. Sometimes our sins are so embarrassing that we would rather keep them a secret instead of admitting to you what we have done. Help us to remember that you already know all of our actions and that you are ready and eager to forgive. Help us to let go so that we can experience the freedom and happiness that comes from living a forgiven life. Amen.