Familiar. So many associations with that word. I’m reflective on the ways God is using the circumstances of my past to help me help others. Sometimes, it’s remarkable how similar the circumstances of a friend or a family member faces are to your own struggles. It reminds you how God can use even the hard times for His glory. He gives us the ability to comfort others with the comfort He gives us (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
I’m thankful for that, which is appropriate on this day after Thanksgiving. I recall the ways He’s done this before in my life, and I recall the ways He’s used others to encourage me. Encouragement is one of my favorite ministries—both to give and to receive. You might say it is because it is a ministry that is familiar to me.
Sometimes, as you listen (and, please, do listen before you offer advice), you hear echoes of your circumstances. You hear familiar struggles, familiar joys. It’s one of the things that can unify us as believers and bring an opportunity to bring someone into the household of faith in Christ. We share the familiar struggle of sin. There is a familiar Savior we must know to escape it.
The familiar can be a very good thing. It is a useful thing. It is a blessing in the midst of a chaotic world. It reminds us of the constancy and goodness of God Himself. Because He works through the familiar and the unfamiliar, equipping us, strengthening us, and giving us courage regardless of how familiar we are with the circumstances of ministry. For He promises to be with us (Mathew 28:20). And He, who ministered here on earth, understands how we struggle. It’s familiar to Him (Hebrews 4:14-16).
[This post was written through and for Five Minute Friday, a prompt-based blog link-up and writing community.]