Walking with God – Psalms 27:8-9

Psalms 27:8-9 8. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. 9. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

I had the privilege, in the Navy, of flying for more than twenty years. There are some things I do not miss about flying, but there are many more that I do miss. I do not miss, for example, flying over the North Atlantic at night through frontal thunderstorms in January. Nowadays, most aircraft can often get around or over the storms. In the mid-1960s, though, the patrol planes we flew in search of the “wily Soviet submariner” were far less advanced than those of today.

Back then, we flew a rotary-engine propeller aircraft. Mature, frontal thunderstorms with towering anvil headed clouds are vicious. They rock the plane, shake the plane, jolt the plane every which way. On dark nights, frequent bolts of lightning in the midst of the clouds can be unnerving. Prayers are said. Such situations recalled to me the words of my eighth grade teacher, “One must keep one’s wits about him to survive.” Well, our wits in one place, we were always happy and most thankful to have overcome a rigorous trial and returned safely to Norfolk!

What I especially miss is flying on a day after the passage of a cold front. The weather becomes CAVU (ceiling and visibility unlimited). The air is crisp and cool, and there is nothing to impede sight. One can see miles and miles in any direction. As the poem goes, to have flown in those conditions is to have “. . . wheeled and soared and swung / High in the sunlit silence.” You can look down on what appears an undisturbed world of rivers and rills and fields and hills.

Once, long ago, in the late afternoon of an incredibly clear, brilliant day at “angels ten” (10,000 feet), above Evergreen, Alabama, I could see the gulf to the south and almost to Montgomery in the north. En route to Milton, Florida, I could see the darkening fields below and the setting sun’s rays
gleaming from the distant outline of Mobile Bay to the southwest. There is no adequate way to describe either the beauty of that scene or the elation I felt in that situation. That particular instant is as vivid to me today as it was nearly fifty years ago, and I often recall it when I seek a moment of personal solitude. Perhaps on that day, I too, “reached out and touched the face of God!”

Our Lenten journey may not be too unlike a flight experience. As we ponder Christ’s sojourn in the wilderness and the events leading to his crucifixion, we travel a path of deepening gloom: trial, humiliation, torture, derision, death. Darkness descends, and prayers are said. Despair is at hand. Thankfully, we know what’s coming: a brilliance of light and love through the resurrection of Christ, and the elation of salvation. Have we found the face of God?

O God, in your grace and mercy, lead us through our reflections so that, seeking we may find your face. Amen

Warren Kinney

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Walking with God – Psalms 27:8-9

Walking with God – Psalms 17:2

Psalms 17:2 Let my judgement come forth from Your presence; Let Your eyes look with equity.

In these verses, the psalmist is offering a prayer seeking God’s protection against oppressors. We are less than a week into the Lenten season when Christians throughout the world reflect upon the sacrifices of Christ as we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter and our Lord’s victory over the grave. During this time, many of us experience a heightened awareness of our need for God’s protection just as the psalmist

As a lawyer, I find it interesting that in the second verse the Lord is beseeched to “Let my judgment come forth from Your presence; Let Your eyes look with equity.” I am particularly drawn to the word “equity”. Most of us think of equity as the value of our home after taking into account any outstanding mortgage; however, for lawyers “equity” may have a much more significant meaning. In medieval times in England, the law could often be very unfair and its application render an outcome that while based upon sound legal principles, it was unduly harsh.

Those affected could only appeal to the king or queen, and this created political problems for the royalty. Should the law be followed when its application was so unpopular? Often the response was for the king or queen to refer the matter to the Lord Chancellor of England and it became his duty to “do the right thing” as the monarch empowered him with royal authority. The Lord Chancellor became commonly known as the “conscience of the king” and his court known as a “chancery court” or an “equity court.”

When I began practicing law over 40 years ago, there were equity courts with circuit judges who heard only equity cases, but now for the most part all circuit courts hear “legal” and “equity” cases and exercise their powers accordingly. A court might be called upon to use its equitable powers to reform a mortgage or agreement if one of the parties had exercised some unfair advantage. Another example would be when a person requests an order of protection to stop some action that might prove injurious and money damages would not render satisfaction. I think this is what the psalmist is requesting. Protection.

Litigants before an equity court who seek equity must “come with clean hands and be prepared to do equity.” The psalmist clearly sets out in his petition to the Lord that he was blameless and without fault. It is incredible how many similarities there are in this prayer for relief to the Lord and similar pleadings that a person might make today in requesting an order of relief from a judge.

As Christians, we have no such admonition to come before the Lord as blameless and without fault. Our hands are not clean, but we worship the Risen Lord and know that unlike the psalmist or the litigant our petition seeking forgiveness will still be granted. Only Jesus can forgive the worst sin imaginable and love us just as much as before we sinned. For me, that’s the essence of Lent—reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice for all of us.

Lenten Prayer: Father, please forgive us of our sins and make us mindful of the sacrifice of Your Son that grants our petition for mercy, forgiveness and the promise of life with You in eternity.

Charlie Waldrep

Walking with God – Psalms 17:2

Welcome to our Lenten Blog Series: Walking with God

What does it mean to Walk with Jesus? Often, we talk about our journey of faith as a daily walk filled with joy, sorrow, and simply the everyday experiences of life. As we journey to the cross this Lenten season, we have the space and time to reflect on the life, service, and sacrifice of Christ. Whether you are entering this journey through sacrifice, a commitment to deeper reflection, or intentional service, our journey centers on the Christ who came demonstrating the unimaginable love and unending grace of God. 

As we walk together this season, you’re invited to walk to join our Lenten blog series. In it you find the thoughts, meditations, scriptures, and tools that help us to experience and live the love, grace, and joy found in our relationship with God. 

Walk together by simply reading and reflecting, by writing a comment or two, or by sharing your own experience with the living Lord. Today, our Lent journey begins…what will your Walk with Jesus reveal?  

*Join the conversation by commenting in the thread below.

Welcome to our Lenten Blog Series: Walking with God