Updated: Jan 26, 2019
God sets the lonely in families. (Psalm 68:6)
This was the verse God brought before me on Thanksgiving morning. My first Thanksgiving where I wouldn’t see or be with my kids. Now grown, they have multiple obligations and sometimes it’s just not my turn. And I’m fine with that. I wasn’t feeling lonely.
But the verse made me think, if I’m not the lonely He is setting in a family, maybe I am supposed to be the family. Have I made myself available to be used by God in this way?
The holidays can be an incredible magnifying lens for disappointment, pain, heartache, and loneliness. They
can be pressure cookers for stress and depression. From the Hallmark Channel to commercials on tv to ads in store front windows. The joys of family and companionship are plastered in front of our eyes everywhere we go. And when those things remind us to get out and be a friend, that’s not a bad thing.
When the Lord says He sets the lonely in families, I think He means me. I am a part of the family He wants to use to reach to and comfort the lonely.
And there are so many ways I can reach out to others during the holidays. Sending a Christmas card or making a phone call are nice.
But a card doesn’t replace the warmth of a hug. A phone call can’t show the smile of delight or twinkle in an eye at the sound of a voice. Scripture doesn’t say God is going to add the lonely to a mailing list or put them on speed dial.
It says He will set them in families.
Maybe lunch or dinner or an afternoon visit. Maybe including someone in our plans.
Maybe God wants families who will set an extra place at the table or make room in the car for one more passenger on the way to the mall, or better yet, to a church service.
One of my favorite ideas is from bestselling author DiAnn Mills in her post How to Reach Out to Others During the Holiday Season. Among other great suggestions, her list included hosting a holiday movie night.
So maybe instead of cyber shopping for one more deal, I should open my front door and take a walk down the sidewalk to see who He places before me. Maybe instead of trying to get the best seat at the church Christmas Cantata, I should pull up a chair next the one facing the holidays alone for the first time. Maybe instead of posting one more picture of my delightful decorations, I need to go to the place where there are people who need to know they are not forgotten.
And they are not alone.
I would love to hear from you! What suggestions do you have for "being the family" as we head into this Christmas season?