“For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” –Psalm 32:4
Lexi is black, and she has an insulating undercoat of fur. She gets hot in the sun. The heat deflates her. On summer days, she’s done in after twenty minutes of walking. She trails along behind me, tongue lolling. Sometimes she just stops and rests in the shade while we’re making our way home. The prophet Isaiah describes God as “a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat” (25:4). We find rest and protection in God. Yet the psalmist describes God’s heavy hand sapping his strength “as in the heat of summer.” Is this the same God who is shelter and shade? In truth, it’s the psalmist’s shame that deflates him: “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. 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” (32:1-5). We may feel deflated, weary, sapped of strength when we walk with God. God’s hand may be heavy on us; His hand is heavy when we bear a burden of guilt. When we confess our sin, we find shelter and shade under God’s cupped palm. We can rest while we make our way Home.
Dear God, Teach me to confess my sins so that your hand isn’t heavy, sapping my strength, but a shade from the heat instead. Amen