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What If Something Happens to You?

Even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me.—PSALM 71:18 (NRSV)

On our way to the grocery store, we stopped at our bank’s drive-through ATM to get cash. My wife, Candy, who’d recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, asked, “What will I do if something happens to you? I haven’t used an ATM for years, and I don’t know our PIN.” It was true that she often got confused with the simplest things on her cell phone, and had given up on using her computer. I reassured her that our son and daughter-in-law, with whom we share a duplex, also kept a record of all such pertinent information, just in case.

“If something happens to you” expresses Candy’s anxiety that I may die first, which she dares not speak about directly. Also very real is the possibility that as I age, I may become unable to effectively care for her. Reciting the practical arrangements we have made every time she asks about this is only partial assurance, and I make a point of not getting mired in the details that she might find confusing. Her deeper fear is being left alone at the end of life. Awkward as praying that I may outlive her feels, I want to care for her all her days. But at the same time, I know that I can’t promise that to myself or to her.

The one thing we are both promised is that God will watch over us and comfort us always.

Faithful God, thank you for your daily presence offering us comfort.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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