Jeremiah’s Call (27-09-21)
Bible Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-9
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." "Alas, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young." But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am too young.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "I have put my words in your mouth.
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
After nearly eighteen months of not being able to go swimming because of Covid restrictions, we recently took our four-year-old granddaughter to a swimming pool. Having been swimming from just a few months old until Covid intervened, she had completely lost her confidence. “Grandad, I can't do it, I can’t do it” she said, in spite of wearing arm floats and holding on to two noodles (long thin foam buoyancy aids). “Will you hold me?” she continued. With some encouragement she overcame her fears and swam across the pool, “Look Grandad, I can do it!”
Jeremiah was only young when God called him to be a prophet to the nations. “I can’t do it” he replied, “I’m too young, I don’t know what to say”, he continued. And God reached out his hand, touched his mouth and said, “Yes you can!”
I wonder how often we are presented with challenges from which we back off and say, “I can’t do it.” What sort of excuses do you use? Can you think of a time when fear has prevented you from doing something someone asked you to do, or something that maybe God was asking you to do?
We have all been created by God for a purpose, created to do things he has specifically prepared in advance for us to do. Whilst we are probably not called to be a prophet to the nations, God may well have something in mind that feels a little beyond what you can manage in your own, something that will stretch you. At least, that is my experience.
Why does God do that? I think it is partly so that we learn to depend on him, not on ourselves, and partly so that the glory goes to him. St Paul tells us, ‘We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us’ (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Jeremiah learnt that when he stepped out of his comfort zone, God did two things. He anointed him with the ability to do the task by touching his lips. He also promised to go with him. ‘Do not be afraid of them for I am with you.’
How will you respond when God next asks you to step out of your comfort zone?
Forgive me Lord for the times I have made excuses for doing your will.
Give me the courage to say ‘Yes’ to you and to trust you to be with me and to equip me.
Hear the call of the Kingdom