"To the fatherless he is a father.
To the widow he is a champion friend.
To the lonely he gives a family.
To the prisoner he leads into prosperity until they sing for joy.
This is our Holy God in his Holy Place!
But for the rebels there is heartache and despair."
At some point in each of our lives we feel left out and alone. It may be when you weren’t invited to that event or weren’t considered in that decision or had no one contact you when tragedy hit. Research has shown that the feelings associated with loneliness, like isolation and feeling left out are linked with poor health outcomes (both mental and physical).
This Psalm shows us three ways that God helps us combat loneliness. He first reminds us that no matter how distant or absent our earthly parents might be, we can always turn to Him as our loving heavenly Father. I think that the way this Psalm is worded shows that this is especially true for those without a Father. He shows Himself throughout scripture to be especially present with us in our hard times and in our times of most vulnerability.
The second thing it reminds us is that He is our defender. To be lonely is to be vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. This passage reminds us that He is our defender and friend in these times. He is there standing between us and those who wish to take advantage. He is also there with us as a friend, to encourage us, to strengthen us and to save us from spiralling into the dark places of the soul.
Thirdly this passage speaks of a God who places His children in families. I believe that this relates to both our biological families, but also our relational and spiritual families. We don’t have to be alone, there are others who can get around you, support you and stand with you. Yes, it is good to know that God is with us, but there is nothing quite like a flesh and blood person to remind you that you are not alone. As a spiritual family, we can both support and be supported by others, we can encourage and be encouraged, be strengthened and strengthen.
How is God calling you to trust in Him?
How is he calling you to connect in deeper to church family?
Who is He calling you to reach out to?