We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind,
To notions of our day and place, crude, partial, and confined;
No, let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred;
The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from his word. (George Rawson)
Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy,’ for you shall go to all whom I shall send, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:6-8; context)
We continue surveying the verses on my old guitar case this week. As I said last week, I pasted all the verses on the case during college, which also happened to be the time I was beginning to discern my call to ordained ministry. I was 19 when that whole adventure began (or, at least, when I noticed I was part of that whole adventure), and so these verses from Jeremiah spoke to me.
Jeremiah makes an excuse to God when God calls him to serve: “I am a boy!!” But God doesn’t want to hear it – what’s that matter, God says. I am with you and that should be enough. This is what God usually says when people give God reasons for why they aren’t the right person for the job. And, of course, God dismisses those reasons. And God does so for one simple reason. Whatever the person’s perceived inadequacy (one of which is youth in Jeremiah’s case), God still chooses that person. In fact, God may very well choose people specifically because of an inadequacy — because in our inadequacies is imbedded the most room for us to grow.
If you feel God calling you to a particular place or situation and a reason not to do it crops up in your mind, it may turn out not to be the right call. On the other hand, that reason has a really good chance to be the very thing that God pegged within you that makes you the right person for the job. If you accept the call to serve, you will grow, you will discover new gifts, you will change for the better. And perhaps that old inadequacy will one day turn into a new strength for which to give God thanks.
Dear God, you call all people to serve in unique ways. Help me to trust that you are calling me to places and situations in which I will find your presence and your grace expanding my abilities to meet the task at hand. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, grateful for the opportunity to reflect on your word and looking forward to discovering its impact on my life.
One thought on “I am a Boy (May 20, 2013)”
Jeremiah’s words are so comforting. Thank you for their delivery.