Scripture tells us “Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” And while I think there is truth in that, I know that it is an easier said than done type of living. It is hard to remain happy, to be happy in the assurance that God forgives us because we think there must be a catch. But often the catch is us, not God. Often, we get into our heads and get in the way of God—causing us to hold it in and hold on to powers that do not forgive and bring us happiness.
Psalm 32 brings this idea to life for me. It reminds me that when I hold things in, when I hold on to parts of this life that weigh me down, I am not able to breathe and able to find that happiness that the writer speaks of. Psalm 32 reminds me that I am to let go and let God handle the burdens I carry. That when I am open with myself and with God, then freedom is achievable.
As we journey through Lent, we are called back to God, called to work on our relationship with God. Psalm 32 reminds me that part of that process is letting go of all the stuff that holds me back and releasing it to God. There is a freedom, a new spirit when I do this. A burden is lifted, and I can see more clearly the beauty and happiness of this world. When I turn from my inward self and towards God, my whole posture and perspective change.
As you journey through Lent, I invite you to lean into the teachings of Psalm 32. Listen to the words and actions that God is calling you towards. What burden do you need to release to God? What things do you need to let go of in order that you can live a life of happiness?
Happy are those who know those who embrace the deep love of God,
Those who know that no sin or transgression can keep them away from the love of God.
Happy are those who whom the Lord forgives,
Those whose spirit is honest and just.
And while I know that we are called to release things to God,
I find myself holding on to things, clinging to this world for comfort and forgiveness.
I know it is not healthy. I know I am suffering.
I feel it in my bones. My body keeps score.
I am exhausted.
In my exhaustion, I have nowhere to turn. I keep sinking deeper and deeper.
I feel your presence around me, but do not know how to ask for your help.
And so I begin in ways that are all too familiar — prayer.
“Are you there God? It’s me.”
I sit in silence. Tears streaming down my face.
Admitting to myself and you things that I no longer can hide.
In this moment I hear you clearly say,
“I’m here my child. I’ve been here the entire time.”
In that moment forgiveness is extended.
I’m reminded once again, that while life rages on, while chaos swirls around me, you are the steady strength and shield I need to survive.
I’m reminded of how to live. How to move. How to breathe.
At times I am stubborn. At times I can become frustrated. At times I turn from you. But you remain here. Your love surrounds me if only I turn my focus from my inward self to you.
In this moment I rejoice that your love is around me.
I’m reminded, happy are those who know those who embrace the deep love of God.