Raise your hand if you live more than 200 miles away from your roots. Raise your other hand if you live more than 500 miles away from your mama. Raise both feet if you live more than 1,000 miles away from all your extended family – siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles!
Me, me, me! Do you see my limbs all waving!
Raise your chin if you’re single.
Raise your shoulders if you’re widowed.
Raise your toes and wave them in the air if your spouse is deployed, you’re deployed, you’re a college student away from home, you’re separated from family due to extended business, or your spouse lives in a nursing home, out of your reach.
I know folks in all of these situations right now. You are likely one of them.
We’ve got some lonely people out there, all over the place, waving their limbs, lifting their chins, hunching up their shoulders, and wiggling their toes. All that wiggling and waving is a little silly, but their situation isn’t funny at all.
We all get lonely at times. We all long for home, need someone to give us a hug, want to go where everybody knows our name, ache for family.
And yet, most of us go through seasons of life when we have little or no family around.
I know one woman who truly has little family left. Both of her parents have passed away, she never married, and she only has one sibling whom she rarely sees.
But she would tell you that she has a family. The church is her family.
Psalm 68:8 tells us, “God sets the solitary in families…” Indeed He does. My friend would agree, too.
I really do live almost 2,000 miles away from most of my extended family and a good 900 miles from all extended family. But I have an extended family right here where I live. They can’t replace my parents and brother in my heart, but they fill in the gaps nicely.
My church family prays for me, laughs with me, kids me, does life with me. Over time they see my weaknesses for what they are, hold me accountable to what I can become, and commiserate with me over where I’ve been. Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye, but we still stand heart to heart. They’re family.
If you’re out there on your own today–and many of you are–then I encourage you to find you a family. This Sunday find you a church to attend. But do more than just sit in a pew, soak up a message, and walk out. Speak to the people around you. Smile. Shake hands. Tell people your name and ask for theirs. See if you can hook up with some people going to lunch together. Go to a Bible study, a small group.
Go again next week…and the next…and the next. Find you a family.
One of the greatest advantages of being a part of God’s family is that it is universal. Whenever we find a gospel believing, Bible preaching, obedient, and loving fellowship of Christ, we’ve found another group of long lost brothers and sisters! Have you found any lately?