Signposts: Daily Devotions

Wednesday, March 30

Put your trust in him always, O people; pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge...
—Psalm 62:8

As most of us know, life is not for sissies. We who are in the “third-third” of our lives know that, for sure. We have different perspectives than we did in our thirties, or even forties. We learn, by living longer, that life is really going to end. It is an awesome reality because it gives us a whole new way of looking at life, and particularly at people of all sorts and conditions.

Yesterday, I visited two men in hospitals. Both are seriously ill. Both of them were alert and gracious, yet I could tell that each man is acutely aware of his condition. After catching up on their situations, and after some pleasant small talk, it was time for me to say a prayer and leave. “What would you like me to pray for?” I asked them.

(A good pastoral counselor once said that prayers that people ask for are usually better than ones we make up.)

The first man was silent for a full minute. Then he said, with his voice choking, “For life.” I took his hand, and he said, “I do have a problem with choking, but that choking up just now was also from emotion.” We prayed for life, and thanked God for how precious it is.

The second man told me of his numerous concerns about returning to his home in a retirement community. When I asked him what he'd like me to pray for, he said, “Chaos, pray about all that chaos I'm headed into.” And we did.

Both of these men “poured out their hearts,” as the psalmist says, not really to me, but to God. Each man has a deep, long history of trusting God, and what I saw is that the trust they have cultivated all their lives has enabled them to pour out their hearts, to articulate their needs. I believe God will answer their prayers and will continue to be their refuge for the rest of their lives, here and hereafter.

Thank you, dear God, for living witnesses of your love and strength, and strong presence with us, for now and evermore. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.