I hid from God this weekend.

It’s not fun to say that, but it’s the truth. Have you ever gone through a period of time when you’d rather not be around God? When your feelings toward him are flat and cold? When he doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as satisfying as he claims to be?

Those are the times when I hide. I do it when I feel at odds with the Lord. Like David in Psalm 32, I sometimes hide because I think he’s angry at me, but I don’t want to let go of my sin (vv 3–4). Or I sometimes hide because I’m angry at him; I really do think he’s holding out on me because there’s something I want that he isn’t giving me. That’s why I hid from God this weekend.

There comes a transition in Psalm 32 where David turns from hiding from the Lord to hiding in the Lord. It happens when he finally agrees with the Lord that he is a sinner (v 5). He stops trying to cover up the truth; he admits at last, “I am in the wrong and God is in the right.” And God is gracious to forgive. And then David sings…

You yourself are a hiding place for me
From distress you keep watch over me
With shouts of deliverance you surround me
(v 7)

Now he doesn’t hide from the Lord anymore. In fact, the Lord himself has become his one and only hiding place. When he’s in trouble, he doesn’t run from the Lord anymore; now he runs to the Lord.

Every sin we commit and every time of suffering we experience will cause you and me to run in one of two directions. We can run away from God and try to use entertainment or other pleasures of this world as narcotics. Or we can run toward God and hide away in his love. One of these is the path to sorrow; the other is the path to joy (vv 10–11).

Which will you choose today? If you’ve been holding God at arm’s length, please take some time now to read Psalm 32, talk with him, and agree that you’ve sinned against him. He is faithful to forgive. So then, be glad—rejoice—shout for joy!