by Pastor Jim Strelan
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‘Ah, Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am only a child’ (Jeremiah 1:6).
Is the Lord calling you? Is he calling you to reach out to that neighbour across the road who has just moved in? Is he calling you to speak to that person who seems to hang around after Sunday worship, but no-one seems to take much notice? Is he calling you to serve in your church in a particular ministry for which you have a gift? Or is the Lord calling you to be a good parent, a good friend, a faithful employee in your workplace?
Jeremiah was called. He was already marked out while in his mother’s womb. He was to be a prophet to the nations. But his response was much like ours can be: Who, me? I don’t have the gift of the gab. I’m just a child. Why would you call me to anything? Does that sound familiar? Not me. I’d like to, but I’m no prophet. I don’t have any title. I lack confidence. There must be someone else.
The thing is that this call comes from the Lord, and when he calls, he also equips. You don’t do things in your own strength. The authority is the Lord’s. To Jeremiah, he says, ‘Don’t be afraid … I am with you’. That makes all the difference, doesn’t it? For Jeremiah, he put his words in the young boy’s mouth. Acting for the Lord, with the authority of the Lord, equipped by the Lord.
Who me? Sometimes we can use the argument that this ‘calling’ is a special thing: prophets, the disciples, today we might say pastors. And while they do have a specific call from the Lord, it doesn’t mean that this calling isn’t for anyone else. Each of us has a call from the Lord to serve him where we are, with those immediately around us. And the reassurance given to Jeremiah is also given to you: Don’t be afraid, I am with you.
Lord, if I listen carefully, I hear you calling me each day. But I’m not confident. Put your words into my mouth and give me your strength to respond. Amen.