Instant Family

9.11.23 Devo Image

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”—Psalm 68:5–6 (NIV) 

Have you ever watched the movie Instant Family? It’s a sweet movie about a couple who decides to enter into the world of foster care and ends up a little in over their heads. They go from having zero children to having three siblings who are 15, 10, and 6 years old. The movie depicts the ups and downs of adjusting to becoming a family in a beautiful and real way. It shows that family is more than blood, and taking the step of faith to be family to those who don’t have any is worth it. 

Near the end of the movie, there’s a scene where Lizzie tearfully runs away from her foster parents, Pete and Ellie. Being the oldest of the three siblings, she had experienced a lot more hurt and abandonment from her mother. When she runs away in embarrassment and sadness because of frustrating things that have happened to her, Pete and Ellie assure her they love her. She doesn’t want to receive their love because all she knows is broken love, but she begins to believe them as they describe different things they’ve come to know and love about her. They tell her she’s been the missing part of their lives and hearts all along and that they’re not afraid to love her through scary and hard things. In this beautiful and emotional scene, we see a depiction of the kind of love God has for us. 

God loves us fiercely, fully, and despite all of our flaws. His love is actually perfect unlike the love of any human being! In today’s Scripture, the psalmist declares that “God sets the lonely in families.” I can’t help but think about all the people in the world who find themselves without family or a place to belong. I think about orphans or those in the foster care system, but I also think about those who’ve been separated from their families due to tragic circumstances. I think about mothers and fathers who’ve lost their spouses and are trying to raise their children alone. These verses remind us that our God is not just some distant being sitting above the world who has forgotten about His creation. He’s a personal Father who cares deeply for His beloved. He meets us all where we’re at, and He uses the body of believers to create more families.

God’s heart has always been for the vulnerable. Not only do we find comfort in this, but we also find a responsibility in this to advocate for the vulnerable ourselves. There are countless people in the world who need a place to belong, and we can offer that through Christ. For anyone who needs family, love, and grace, it’s found in Christ and in His body, which is us! Because He invited us to become part of His family first, through His work on the cross, we get to do the same for others. May we not neglect the beautiful work of welcoming others into the family of God by treating them with love, respect, and kindness regardless of our differences or circumstances. In Christ, we all become instant family!

Pause: What does this verse show you about God’s character? What does it mean to you that God sets the lonely in families?

Practice: Look out for someone today who you can welcome and serve. There are people all around us, from our literal next door neighbors to strangers in a store to our co-workers, who need to know Jesus. They will get to know Him better through you!

Pray: Father, thank You for being a Father to the fatherless. Thank You for defending those who cannot defend themselves. Thank You that despite the evil in this world, You pour Your light into dark places and Your presence permeates the hearts of those who trust in You. You’re present with those who are lonely or vulnerable, and I want to be too. Direct me to the people You want me to love, support, and advocate for. I want to be more like You Jesus. Amen.

About the Author

Samantha Rodriguez

Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.