This question of "What encouragement can I find?" reminds me of an old hymn. Many of you are probably familiar with it. It's called "His Eye Is on the Sparrow." And in the very first stanza, it has three descriptions that I think might resonate for a person who comes from a broken family. It speaks first of discouragement. We may feel discouraged because we know, we sense, we experience that this is not how it's supposed to be. Then there's a line that speaks of shadows coming, and a shadow gives us a picture of darkness that's kind of cast over us, over our lives. So there's a sadness that colors our world when our family was not how it was supposed to be. And then it mentions a heart that's lonely. Our home, our family—it's meant to be a safe place where we find rest and refuge, where we are known, accepted, nurtured, built up, and when it's not that, we have lonely hearts. 

So the hymn gives us these words, and they do capture some of the experience, but the hymn actually asks, "Why should I feel discouraged? Why should shadows come? Why should my heart feel lonely when?" And here comes the clincher: "When Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is he, and his eyes on the sparrow, and I know he watches me." And so in those lines, there's just three really concrete encouragement. First, Jesus is your portion. You have him, all of him, and he is a faithful brother who brought you into the family of God. He is your all and all, your portion when the brokenness of this life has left you with less than what you needed or wanted. Second, he's a constant friend. The ramifications of a broken family, sadly, they reverberate for years to come, and through it all, Jesus is your friend, and he's all the things a good friend should be. 

He listens. He enjoys you. He's loyal. He doesn't turn away. He won't. He's constant, dependable, utterly reliable because he's utterly committed to you. And third, he watches you. He knows what this is like. He's sympathetic. That's part of what makes him a good friend. He is a friend and he is also your God. So him watching you also means he knows what you need. He takes care of you because you matter so much to him. That's what Jesus is wanting us to see when he points out his care for the sparrows in Matthew 6: "See, I take care of them and you mean so much more to me." You can be confident of his care for you. The hymn says, "I know he watches me." Faith believes this God, this brother is watching you. He is with you and you can be confident of this. He is yours and you are his.