As I sit in my living room in the early morning hours of this Thanksgiving Day, my heart is full of gratitude for all the blessings in my life. This time of year there is a greater focus on being thankful. It is a good reminder to reflect on the good things in our lives, but it is something that should be our focus every day – not just in November. This holiday season, I am particularly thankful for my family. I know that sounds cliché, but let me tell you why I feel especially blessed by the family I have.
You see, there was a time in my life when I felt utterly alone. I was a single mom of 2 children on the verge of “empty nest”. My parents, brother, sister, aunts, uncles lived very far away from me. There were many times I wondered what was going to become of me. One Sunday afternoon, I was feeling VERY low. I remember calling my pastor to ask for prayer. We talked and he prayed with me. I had no intention of going to church that evening…I was too miserable. But after we talked, I forced myself to go – I somehow knew that being in God’s house would bring me some peace. I could be miserable anywhere, right? Might as well go to church. After the service, Pastor came up to me and during the conversation he said. “God sets the lonely in families”. When he said those words he might as well have said “Dog tree road melt” and it would have made more sense. I had never heard those words before and it was absolutely foreign to me. I thought – what does that have to do with anything? What in the world is he talking about? I smiled politely and went on my way. But those words went down into my spirit and over the next few days they kept coming back to my mind. Weeks would go by and I would remember those words. I thought about them and I talked to God about them. I asked Him to show me what they meant.
Here I am, several years later and God has absolutely showed me what those words meant. My family has grown from 3 – me, my daughter and my son – to 14, soon to be 15! I am married to a wonderful man who has 2 boys. All 4 of our children are married and we have 4 grandchildren with one on the way. That’s not all…I have in-laws Today we will have Thanksgiving dinner at our cousin’s house with 15 – 20 members of our family. Friday and Saturday will be spent with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and all our kids. God took this lonely girl and set her in a great big family! Today, Psalm 68:6 makes perfect sense to me – because I’ve lived it.
If you feel lonely today, I can relate. Let me remind you that you are never alone. God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8), so even if you don’t have a family and you are all alone in the world God is there for you and He loves you more than you could ever imagine. He created you for a purpose and He has a good plan for your life. Dig into His word and find a promise you can hold on to…even if it doesn’t make sense to you right now. He can show you what it means and make it real for you. He did it for me – He will do it for you.