Jack and I were watching a show today about estate sales, and at the end of the show, the guy who was selling his parents' belongings commented on how hard it was to watch things he had grown up with being sold and carried out the door by strangers. He said, "I still miss my mom. I still miss my dad."
We all want to be part of a family. We want to belong to somebody, not slaves, but as sons and daughters. When life is difficult, we want to turn to someone for help, we want someone who can make it "all better."
I've been told that when your parents have passed away, something shifts. Life just isn't the same. I'm 38 years old, and I still look to my parents for advice. Joys are not quite complete until you can share them with someone you love, and there are few people who love you quite like your parents. My mom might add that as a parent, you never lose the desire to "fix things" for a child who is hurting, even when they are adults. Your kids are always your kids; your parents are always your parents.
Have you ever wondered why you have this longing to belong? Even though you may be estranged or distanced from your earthly parents, if you are a Christian, you are never separated from your Father in heaven. When you become a Christian, you are adopted by God into his family (Romans 8:14-17). You can tell your Father all about your joys and disappointments, and you can ask him for help (Romans 8:26-27). He is always there, he is never too busy, and he loves all of his children completely.
We need a family. We can substitute facebook friends or civic groups or book clubs, but they can never be all that we need them to be. Even our own parents can fail us or mess us up, but God never will. He is always our perfect father.