This morning I read a blog post that made me stop and think a bit about those around me who are hurting during this holiday season. She talked about families breaking up, sickness, financial issues, relationship problems, and other areas of our lives that don’t really lend themselves to singing ‘Joy to the World’. She also gave a suicide statistic that was really shocking – there are usually more suicides in December than in the other 11 months of the year! Here is the encouragement she offers from the Psalms.
I read today in Psalm 68. I have read and heard numerous times verse 5; “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” but today it was verse 6 that was fresh, new and intriguing….”God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” I read over that again and again. I obviously can’t know exactly what God meant when He inspired the Psalmist to write that, but it does reflect God’s character. He gives us family. It doesn’t say that means a spouse and kids. That means an extended family or maybe a church family. It confirms that he wanted us to experience companionship and that it can come in the form of other people and/or ministries that we pour ourselves into.
I am blessed with a great family – immediate and extended – as well as fabulous friends that are ‘family’ – and an incredible church family that is wonderful! I’m also DEFINITELY an introvert – crowds make me tired and grumpy and unhappy. 🙂 However, it is great to know that I have no reason (and very little opportunity) to be lonely.
For those that are not blessed with people around them – especially with people who know their heart and their hurts – pray for God to bring along ‘family’. It might even be you!