Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Psalm 27:10 (NLT)

There lies in the heart of each of us a desire to be loved and to be wanted. That inner confidence that we know we are needed and that if we were gone, someone would miss us. The peace of knowing someone cares and that when everyone else turns their back on us, there is at least one person we can turn to for a heartfelt hug, a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear.

For many of people that’s what family is for. Family is that one foundation, that one cornerstone that throughout history has proven itself to be the most consistent, reliable and faithful place to find love, acceptance and understanding.

Friends move or find other interests. Marriages, some of which have lasted almost half a century, end in divorce and send children of any age reeling and seeking answers. Illnesses, emotional distress, financial ruin, greed all take their toll. But family is always supposed to be there for us.

In David’s Psalm of praise (Psalm 27) he recounts the many ways that God can be trusted and praised. Friends can fail us. We have adversaries that seek our demise. Brothers can turn on you and tell you how embarrassed they are to have you as a sibling. Sometimes even parents can turn their backs on you when you don’t meet up to their own lofty expectations.

But God is there. Have you ever been in a crowd of people you know and still feel lonely? Have you ever reached out for someone to talk to and found everyone too busy to really listen? Have you ever made a decision that was so repulsive that even your family excludes you from their circle?

Know this. Your Heavenly Father hears your cries in the night even when it seems your prayers don’t go past the ceiling. During those lonely times He feels the same knot in your stomach. His heart sinks when He sees how you are treated. No one. Not friends, family, your lover, no one understands like Jesus. He is your friend in the midst of the darkest hour.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. There are times in my life when I’m so full of loneliness and despair that I’m not sure I can go on. No one seems to understand me or listen to me or care if I’m even around. There are times I confess I don’t even think you care. Help me this day to know that you love me with all the scars, with all the bruises, with all the issues that pull me down. I love you. Help me to feel your love. Amen.