“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.” (Jane Austen)

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s hot. As Austen said, inelegantly hot. It’s so hot that hens are laying hard boiled eggs and birds are using potholders to handle worms.

However, like any of our experiences, we can use this to learn about our relationship to God.

I want to consider one verse from Psalm 32. It’s one of two psalms (32 and 51) written after David admitted to his adultery with Bathsheba. In the opening verses he talks about the forgiveness of his transgression; the covering of his sin; his iniquity not being credited to him.

Then in verses 3 and 4, he remembers the effects of sin before his confession: His body wasted away; he groaned all day long. Then verse 4 says, “For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.”

David is talking about the burden of sin. Sin felt like carrying a heavy load on a hot, sweltering day. Spiritually, he felt like he was melting away in summer. David was saying that sin felt awful.

But throughout the rest of the psalm, he talks about how wonderful forgiveness felt. It was a condition of blessing; he sang songs of deliverance; he rejoiced; he shouted for joy.

Often the Bible treats sin in a clinical way. It sometimes describes the most heinous sins with no expression of emotion. Or, as in Romans and Galatians, it uses legal or accounting terminology to describe how God has forgiven us in Christ. What’s unique about Psalm 32 is that it spends most of its time talking about the emotional side of sin and forgiveness. Sin should make us feel awful while forgiveness should feel awesome. God has made us so that our consciences convulse at sin and delight in righteousness.

I hope you’re surviving this spell of hot weather. Even more, I hope is that the heat will remind all of us of the burden of sin. Most of all, I pray that each of us will experience the refreshment of divine forgiveness. That’s something to really feel good about.