That Time I Stole His Yogurt: A Lesson From Psalm 32
3 “...My body wasted away, through my groaning all day long…
4 ...my strength is dried up as by the heat of summer”
I knew the feeling that David was talking about. My eyes sting and if I could cry then I could have a bit of relief, but the tears are stuck inside me. Perhaps they are camping out beside the dull ache in my head that doesn't quite count as a headache but still aches all the same. The lump in my throat tries to choke me, but mostly there is a caving in my chest that wants so badly to be full again.
This is a terrible thing to feel. It’s like being sick with the flu… on the inside. I felt ill in the core of what makes me me. What do you do when you find yourself in this place? When I am there I feel stuck, yet David tells me in the rest of Psalm 32 that there is a way for me to “be glad and rejoice.”
You see, the choice was mine. In the middle of this feeling of oppression I can let God instruct me, teach me, counsel me with His eye upon me (verse 8). Or I can be stubborn like a mule (verse 9). So what did I choose? Well, honestly, I chose to stew in my own misery. I chose the stubborn mule.
But misery is miserable and eventually I made the choice that I didn’t want to stay there. That was when I saw that my God will preserve me, even in this place of sorrow. He will deliver me…. if I ask.
I guess you're wondering by now: how did Hannah get into this sticky, yucky spot? Well David knew and he lays it out in verse 5. He calls it many names: sin, iniquity, transgression.... Five times in verse 5 he names the culprit.
I don’t know the specifics of what King David did, but I do know the intimate details of what I did. I’ll get real honest here and mention the two sins I knew I had done. The sins that I wouldn’t deal with. One is kinda funny; one isn’t so much.
- Two weeks ago I wanted the last strawberry yogurt. The strawberry yogurt that I knew my husband, Stephen, would want to eat at 10:00 am; which he had dubbed “yogurt time”. Stephen probably would have given me the yogurt if I asked, but I was greedy. I stole the yogurt sneaky-like so he wouldn’t notice until the morning when I was already gone. Really? Come on Hannah….
- A friend asked a favor of me and I agreed. I’d like to clarify here that she asked, not demanded, and I freely consented. Well I was not a very cheerful giver and I have begrudged (almost hated) her for asking something of me that I decided I did not want to give.
We all sin; we mess up and choose the wrong thing. That’s not the issue here. My issue, David’s issue, is that I “kept silent about my sin" (verse 3). I wouldn't deal with it. I would have to admit that I had done the wrong thing, and that is hard to do.
Because my heart was begrudged and bordering on hate, because my heart was greedy, because I wouldn't admit that I was doing the wrong thing; I became heavy, weary, and the guilt of my sin (verse 5) weighed on me. I felt awful.
When I finally got my perspective right, I realized that God is kind and shows me loving-kindness by making His hand heavy on me (verse 4). Because He isn't content to let me wallow in the sorrow of my wickedness (verse 10), He uses that awful feeling to motivate me to be in the wide open place where my sins are forgiven. He wants me to be blessed. He wants me to be glad! To rejoice! To shout for joy (verse 11)!
It doesn't take much common sense to know I want that too. What God has for me is way better than what I was doing: pretending like everything is OK when it really wasn't.
I was acting like that stubborn mule, but God got my attention by letting my sin bring me sorrow.
Truth: I thought about that dang yogurt from the moment I woke up. I didn't want to text my husband at all because I knew I had sinned in greed against him...all over a yogurt...sheesh.
So where did that leave me? I decided to let God’s heavy hand counsel me. I chose to listen to God. I followed David’s example in verse 5:
“I acknowledged my sin to Thee, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
I prayed to God. I confessed my sin. I gave up and admitted that God was right and I was wrong. (By the way, David writes a whole Psalm about asking for forgiveness. It’s Psalm 51 if you're interested…. Or you can read about it in 2 weeks with us in our current plan "A Summer of Psalms.")
You know what happened?
The Psalm is true! I am glad in the Lord (verse 11). The heavy hand of God is lifted. I am, once again, in right standing with God, with my husband, and with my friend. I can rejoice! I can shout for joy! I am blessed!
My takeaway from this whole situation is this: I trust God even more than I did before. I feel safe and cared for. I know Him as my God who preserves me from myself. He makes every effort to deliver me, even from my own sins, the guilt of my sin, and sorrow that comes with it.
And next time, I hope to be much quicker to feel that heavy hand of God when I sin. I’ll remember that God is using it to bring me back to Him. He is using it to preserve me and deliver me into blessing.
Hannah Michael Wolfkill Snyder has always loved all of her names (yes, each one is on her passport!). However, the name she loves the most is Jesus. Jesus taught her how to play in the throne room of Heaven and sit in the lap of God the Father. This is her identity, where her heart loves to abide (even if her hands and feet are busy on earth running a household or meeting up with people). Because of her joy in the Father, her heart’s desire is to show women their God given identity in the kingdom of Heaven. You can find her on Instagram.