Before traveling we always pray to meet other Christians to fellowship with as we journey together.  A few years ago, we embark on a world cruise.  From Sydney, Australia through Asia to India, the Middle East, traversing the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean visiting Egypt, Italy, France, and Spain; north to Scandinavia, then to England and Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, sailing the Atlantic’s thick fog to Nova Scotia, relishing pizza in New York City, south to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, off to the Hawaiian Islands, down to Tahiti, American Samoa, New Zealand, and finally docking in Sydney 104 days later!

On the first evening of the cruise, it’s the Sail Away Party on the upper deck, as we navigate Sydney’s Harbor Bridge and fabled Opera House, where Sue and I meet a couple as friendly as can be.  Jack and Maggie Littler of Australia.  A sail away toast launches our friendship.  Somewhere at sea we discover that they also are fellow believers in Jesus.

They’re such fun.  Laughed all the way around the world.  Literally.  We prayed together.  Shared trials and concerns.  Jack would always poke fun at us as we warmed two deck chairs while they diligently walked miles and miles around the Lower Promenade!  We still keep in touch.  They were one of the first to receive these weekly devotionals, and to read the two books I’ve written.

Psalm 68: 6–‘God sets the lonely in families…’ (NIV).  When you need someone to feel connected to in life, ask the Lord to provide.  He places us where we can find family way beyond our biological ones.  As in believers, who are more than family.  Blood relatives through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross.  A bond that lasts forever.

So pray.  And how about allowing the Holy Spirit to make you family to someone else?  Reach out.  Loneliness is terrifying.  Being together in Jesus the best antidote!


Thank you, Jesus, for family found in surprising places.  Amen.


I’m dedicating this week’s devotional to our Sail Away Party friends, the Littler’s.  They were God’s answers to our prayers.  Thank you, Jack and Maggie!




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