During the holiday season you may feel like the apple in a bowl of oranges. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are special occasions for families to gather and it seems that everyone else is with loved ones enjoying being together.
If you are feeling left out or lonely you are not the only one around you who is hurting in this way. Single adults, people who live alone and far from family, people in hospitals, prisoners, those who have to work long hours, and the homeless often find themselves feeling left out of the holiday spirit.
Also there are many people who are with family over the holidays and yet they too struggle with feeling left out. Maybe they’re uncomfortable because they feel different from others in the family and don’t know what to talk about. Or because someone in the family is likely to say or do something that is hurtful they distance themselves to cope, which leaves them feeling left out.
People who are alone over the holidays may also be feeling left out at church. It seems that everyone is with their spouse or family, but they are all alone.
God Sets the Lonely in Families
Maybe you are feeling left out? It is especially for you that “God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6). But what does this mean? If you’re lonely and not part of a family then this Bible verse may seem to be a false hope, and untrue promise.
What a beautiful thing it is when someone without family belonging is informally adopted by another family and they spend holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions together. He or she may still miss having their own family to be with and yet there can be a great appreciation of the blessing of being included in this family. Psalm 68:6 is fulfilled!
This is true family and it’s the way it ought to be in the Body of Christ. But for many reasons in most local churches there are many people there who are feeling left out during the holidays. Those of us in families can do more to be hospitable to those who are lonely.
Your True Source
The deeper reality that Psalm 68:6 is pointing to is a spiritual reality that may or may not be reflected in the visible situation that you are in.
Think about this. All of us — especially if you’re feeling left out — are invited into the Family of Heaven. Anyone who trusts in Jesus Christ is adopted by God the Father and sealed with the Holy Spirit of love. Father, Son, and Spirit (the Perfect Family!), along with all the angels and saints of the heavens and hopefully some Christ-followers today, welcome us into the Trinitarian community.
If we train with Jesus to find our true identity and well-being by being with him in the Kingdom of the Heavens then when we feel left out, which we all experience at times, we have another option. We can “Rejoice in the Lord!” (Philippians 4:4) anyway because we belong to him and are loved by him. We can take courage from the Lord with us and find someone else who is feeling left out and seek to be a blessing to that person.