Verse of the Day

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

~Philippians 4:19

Today's Devotional Thought

December 21, 2012 by Rachel Piferi


Family at Christmas

For many Christmas is a time of spending time with family.

Traveling to see family.

Family traditions.

Sharing family stories from past Christmases.

Family and enjoying being with family is a big part of Christmas.

But for many, the focus on family during Christmas brings pain. For some, a beloved family member has been lost this year {maybe even quite recently} and the thought of spending Christmas without them brings indescribable pain. For others, there may be deep family wounds that get highlighted at Christmas when someone chooses to voice them or behave in a way that reminds everyone of those wounds. And some may never have had family to share this holiday with and the loneliness becomes so very clear this time of year.

Family is a wonderful part of Christmas. But for some, it brings a lot of pain.

I was thinking about this recently as I was reflecting on some situations close to me where family pain is very real this time of year. And I began thinking about examples of families in the Bible that experienced real pain or loss and how God provided. In fact, in many of the examples I thought of, I saw God providing precious relationships where family may have once been, but was not anymore.

I thought of Paul and his writings to Timothy or Titus about his close knitting to them like they were family.

I thought of Ruth and Naomi and their close knitting after Naomi lost all of her husband and sons.

I thought of David and Jonathan and the beautiful brotherhood that God created between two very different men.

I thought of Esther, the orphan, and her uncle who loved her and guided her.

I thought of Mary who Luke tells us spent time with a relative, Elizabeth. Not an immediate family member, but someone somewhere in her family.

Why didn't she spend time with her immediate family? Her mother? Sisters?

We are not told of her immediate family and we simply do not have enough information to speculate what that relationship was like.

What we do know from Scripture is that when God thinks we need someone to be there to encourage us, support us, and love us through life, he provides. And sometimes, these precious relationships come in an unlikely person outside of our immediate family.

Christmas is a wonderful time to be spent with family. But if you have pain this holiday season from family loss or family strife, please take comfort that God sees that pain. And he does not desire for you to live in pain. Through his Word and through prayer with him, you can feel his encouragement and love. He can heal that pain that may feel un-healable right now.

And he can provide deep, meaningful relationships to fill that void in family that may be there.

Believe me. I have a sister who is not my biological sister, but who is indescribably dear to me. Someone given to me from God to be like family. Someone who enriches my life daily through our spiritual sisterhood.

Relationships inspired by God are precious beyond words. And can fill voids that you may not even know are there. God knows your needs, even your need for family, and he will provide spiritual mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters to encourage you through life.

This Christmas, cherish the ones whom God has given you. I know there is a lot of family loss and family strife around, but there are also so many examples of bonds created by God to be like family. Cherish them. They are gifts. Given to us by God.

Memorize this verse today:

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:19

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