only the lonely

“God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6)

These are the words I’m thinking about today. This is the promise of God that brings me comfort and hope on Mother’s Day and on other days too, come to think of it. Today can be a difficult day for those of us separated from our moms by death, distance or division. The first circumstance is insurmountable for the present, but the latter two circumstances can be overcome until the first takes over.

I definitely envy my friends who get to spend Mother’s Day with their moms, since I am no longer able to do that. Being at present an earthly orphan, I have always taken comfort from God’s promise to “set the lonely in families.” And He does this by adopting you and me into His forever family. Consider what we learn in Romans 8:29 about this –

“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

No more only child syndrome in God’s family. God’s family is large and constantly expanding. In 1 John 3:1 I am reminded of our status as children of God –

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

Martin Luther King Jr. said in his “I have a dream” speech that we are all God’s children. When we realize this, we realize that we are all related, that we all have a family where we belong and have a place, and that family is the family of God. We can create family right where we are by reaching out to those around us, inviting them into our lives and getting to know them.

A friend did exactly this for myself and a few others today when she invited us into her home for a special meal after church. We are those separated from family by death, distance or division but today we were “family” to each other. We had a very special time of breaking bread together, sharing and laughing, making our burdens lighter and our joys more joyful. God really does bring special people into our lives to be “family” to us at just those times when we most need family.

Even as I write this, I am remembering a story shared with me just recently, of a young woman who lost her entire family, but God placed her in a whole new family! God creates all sorts of families in all sorts of ways. Adoption is one of those ways and it is such a beautiful picture of God’s love for us because He adopts us into His family. God chooses us, and makes us His own! The price? His own Son.

“because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9)

Jesus paid my price. I have a place in my Heavenly Father’s family – a secure place where I will always belong. And I don’t have to wait until heaven to experience hanging out with members of my forever family. There are plenty of opportunities right now for God to set me and you, dear readers and any and all “lonely” in families. God will gladly do this for us. He created us for relationship with Him and for relationship with each other. He knows that’s how we function best. In fact we are told –

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)

That’s what families do for each other. As members of God’s family, that’s what we can do for each other. I’m grateful for the special time I had today with my sisters. We certainly did these things for each other of encouraging and burden bearing. God has invited each of us into a large, loving and diverse family. We just have to take Him up on His offer. He will “set the lonely in families.” Thank You, Heavenly Father, for inviting us into Your family, for making us Your children.

sincerely, Grace Day

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