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. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” – Jeremiah 1:4-10
God chose Jeremiah before birth, purposing him as a mouthpiece to the nation of Israel that would call the people to return to the rightful worship of God.
Jeremiah’s age couldn’t stop it, professional accolades didn’t warrant it, and the fear of legitimate obstacles can’t repudiate it.
Called to be a witness for God at trying time in the southern Israelite Kingdom of Judah’s history, Jeremiah’s ministry encompassed the reign of multiple kings, invasion of the Babylonians (Jeremiah 37:13-16), destruction of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 52), flight into Egypt (Jeremiah 43:1-13), imprisonment for government sedition (Jeremiah 38), and religious ostracization for failing align himself with the status quo (Jeremiah 14:14).
Consistently, Jeremiah prophesied hard truths the people did not want to hear. Consistently, God protected Jeremiah.
Today in a world of unprecedented challenges, we are called like Jeremiah to remember: Our lives are not our own. Instead, our lives are a trust given to us by a loving God who desires we enter into relationship with Him and help others discover that relationship.
God does not just want our neighbors to help others see Christ, rather as Matthew 5:14 states, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
God is calling you. God is calling me. God is calling us. Why?
Because the great hymn writer Charles Wesley’s lyrics are still true, “A charge to keep I have, A God to glorify.”