“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7 ESV).
The joyful deliverance described by David in this psalm comes after a time of separation from God. The Lord waited to deepen his relationship with David while David increased the separation from the One who loved him perfectly.
Separation from God causes agony—physical and spiritual. Earlier in the psalm David speaks of his body wasting away. His strength is dried up like in the heat of summer. Lethargic, lifeless, despondent—cut off from his power source.
When he finally acknowledges his wrongdoing and turns to God, the welcome is deafening. God’s comfort for David isn’t just quiet, soothing words but shouts and glad cries. Picture a baseball player returning to the dugout after a home run or a child running up to a grandparent. God is enthusiastic and all-encompassing in his joy.
What’s true about God’s embrace of David is true for you as well. Jesus’ stories are full of references to God’s longing for his distant children—a father runs to greet his lost son, angels rejoice over a sinner who repents, and Jesus’ own plaintive words: “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37).
And know this. When you return to God, there is no scolding or shaming. He will not give you a cold shoulder or remind you of your failings. He will welcome you. Instantly.