Day 36

Read Matthew 12:46-50.

Devotion by: Stephanie Collins
Spiritual Kinship Stronger than Physical

The first time I read this portion of Scripture, it left me with an uneasy feeling. Was Jesus being rude? Was that ok? I misinterpreted the situation and thought Jesus’ comments were somehow devaluing family, that He was replacing his mother and brothers. It took years to understand that Jesus was not disrespecting his blood family but widening the definition of family to include so many more. Much like a parent whose love grows with the addition of each child, Jesus shows us that family is not limited to blood relatives. Family and the blessings of family only grow with the addition of more members of our spiritual family.

Ten years ago my husband of just three months and I moved to Tampa. Like many other Florida transplants, we had no family nearby. With one set of parents and siblings over 539 miles away and the other over 1,185 miles away we were very much on our own in the family department. While we are fortunate to have blood family here now, I am grateful for the time we had on our own because it transformed how we view family. Our church family became family, not replacing our blood family but adding richness to our lives.

Before we had our children, the youth group worship kids truly were our kids. To this day I’m grateful that their parents let us have such influence on their lives and the opportunity to love them. They are grown adults now, but they will always be special to me. They make my heart happy.

In that time away from my hometown, God placed mothers, sisters, and aunts in my life that blessed me and loved me. These women opened their homes and hearts, celebrated pregnancies with me and prayed me through difficult doctor reports. These women threw me baby showers, waited in the hospital for my firstborn and let me drop off that same baby at their house at 4:00 a.m. for the birth of the second. They make my heart happy.

God places us in families, not to replace blood family, but to enlarge it. It is a “yes/and” not “either/or” situation. Look around. Who are you mothering or fathering? Who are you welcoming to mother or father you? If names easily come to mind, thank God for these blessings in your life! If not, pray for your eyes and heart to be opened to who God has placed in your sphere to embrace as your family. He will make your heart happy.

Jessica Spivey