4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “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.” 6 “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. 9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 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)

God’s call to Jeremiah is interesting in several ways. We see the incredible plan that God had for Jeremiah before he was even born. The same is true for God’s children- despite their perceived weaknesses and frailties, God has molded them and created each one of them for his unique purposes. So very often a comparison against the standards of the world can lead to disappointment but it is heartening to know that our package of weaknesses and strengths is just the way God intended, to achieve his purposes through our lives.

We also see Jeremiah’s response, declaring his helplessness in the face of the challenge that God’s call was for him. No servant of the Lord has ever ventured out and done amazing things for God before first recognizing his utter helplessness. And only once he reaches that point of weakness does the strength of God begin to flow through him to help him achieve what needs to be done.

We see the work of God is raising Jeremiah to the point of enablement so that he could become the great prophet that he was. The impact of his work would always be traced back to his call when the Lord reached out his hand and touched him and appointed him.

God’s work is no child’s play. And to take the servant beyond the realm of childish helplessness is the responsibility of the One who calls.

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