No.116.Thanksgiving for ‘Family’.

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No.116.Thanksgiving for ‘Family’.

One of things that Birthdays bring to the forefront of my mind is ‘family’. So the thing that I want to especially give thanks for today is family. Family is Gods’ idea and His plan that we wouldn’t just be a collection of random individuals living on the earth, born and then left to make our way, surviving as best we may. He planned it so that we would each be born into, and have a place where we are anchored in life. That safe place where we learn so much, and where we can be accepted through all our ups and downs.

Now I know that this is not true at all times and for everyone. Our society is broken and often families are fragmented. Sometimes even families that are held strongly together are still not the comfortable place, the ‘home’ environment, that we all need in which to grow and thrive. The fact that ‘family’ is often not all it should be does not however negate the fact that the Lord planned something really good for us in ‘setting’ us in families.

Let us thank God first and foremost today for the family that we were born into. It’s just so easy to see the shortcomings of our parents or our primary care givers, but I believe part of ‘honouring Father and Mother’, Exodus 20:12, is being thankful to them, and to God for them, and the things that they have given us. If at this point your mind goes blank then start by thanking God for the life they gave you and the opportunity that has given you to find the Lord here on earth, and then to spend the most glorious eternity with Him in heaven.

Secondly let us thank Him that He has brought us into His family. That He is our Heavenly Father and He cares for us more than we can imagine. We are now part of His family, this is now our safe place where we can thrive and blossom. No doubt as in any family there will be ups and downs and fallings out!! But our heavenly Father who loves all His children will always be there for us to help us through and teach us how to ‘love one another as He has loved us’, John 15:17. Like any parent, He enjoys His family most when they love each other and help each other to ‘grow’!

Family for us is now not just our biological nuclear family, it is Gods’ family that we are part of, and  we are especially on His heart if our human family is less than we would want. ‘A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His Holy Dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing’ Psalm 68:5,6.

The Lord wants us His people, to make provision for those who are alone in the world. It matters to Him how we treat the single person, the widow, the orphan, the divorcee, even those who are isolated because they have done wrong like the prisoners in psalm 68:6. These people have a high value in His Kingdom, and He wants us, His children, to live by His values. He even tells us that He will release a blessing over those who bless and provide for ‘the alien, the fatherless and the widows’, (and the equivalent in our society) Deuteronomy 14:29.

So let us thank Him today for those people that He has put in our lives to be ‘family’. They may be from the biological family we were born into, or the one into which we were ‘born again’, our Christian family. Our ‘family may include relatives or friends who live near or far away, they may be from one church or from various places. I think it is important here that we are not looking for one group or one family in one geographical location to provide all that we need. It is significant that the psalmist tells us that the Lord sets the solitary or lonely in ‘families’, plural.

However our particular family is formed, let’s list the members and thank God for them and express our appreciation to them ourselves. They won’t be perfect, no family is, but as we value and appreciate those people the Lord has given us with whom we can share our lives, I believe those relationships will deepen and grow. Our gratitude will also help us to notice when the Lord adds more people to us that we can count as ‘family’, throughout all the changes and different seasons of our lives.


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