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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Saturday, May 15

Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
—Psalm 71:9

From the moment of our birth, we begin to age. From that first moment of living, we begin to die. Much of our unresolved angst throughout life is directly related to this bare truth. Whether or not we consciously spend time considering the thought, it always lies beneath the surface, like a sliver of fog that keeps things just hidden from sight.

We are all familiar with comments we hear from people around the time of their birthdays, especially on those years that mark the passing of another decade. At some level, we all have some disquiet about aging, not only because we are trying to avoid our mortality, but also because we are afraid we will be forgotten, abandoned, ignored, thought to be useless in our old age.

The prayer asking God to hold on to us during our aging years—to stay by our side even when our strength fails—is a plaintive cry that we be spared the terror of abandonment. The prayer is not really a request so much as it is a vocalization of our fear. 

Perhaps if we began praying the prayer for others and ourselves no matter what our age, we would find our fear subsiding, and our souls gaining confidence that God’s loving shadow will never be withdrawn.

O God, my time is in your hand, and I rest safely under the shadow of your wings.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2004.