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Monday, April 25, 2011

You, Youth

In my one-year trip through the Bible (which has now turned into a one-and-a-half-year trip through the Bible!), I've made it through the incredible book of Isaiah and into the book of Jeremiah, which is also pretty incredible, but in a completely different way. (Actually, I've heard so much about Jeremiah's "weeping" that I was expecting a depressing read, but it's not that way at all. You can read it for yourself and see what you think about that. He does weep several times, though.)

Anyway, I was reading the first chapter, where God calls Jeremiah to his ministry as a prophet, and I came across this:
But the LORD said to me,
    “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
    for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
    and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
    Do not be afraid of them,
    for I am with you to deliver you,
    declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:7-8 ESV)
Jeremiah was a young man at this time; likely he was in his early 20s, maybe even in his teens. God told him that that didn't matter, because when God calls you to something and you're walking in His will, He'll make a way for you to do it. Being young doesn't disqualify you... ask David, or Gideon, or any number of other young people that God used mightily in the Word!

I turned 40 years old last year; in a few months I'll tick over to age 41. Most people would not classify me as a "youth." But I remember what it felt like when I was a kid, then a teenager, then a young man, and started off on something new. It was scary! I can remember it very well because when I start something new these days, at the age of 40... it still feels exactly that way! When I'm starting something that I haven't done before, it's scary. I feel like I'm not big and strong enough to do it. I feel like I might fail. I might as well be a little kid! As I told my son recently, every grown man you see walking around, even if he's a hundred years old, still has a little kid inside there.

How about you? Do you turn into a "youth" when God calls to try something new? If you do (and come on, you know you do!) heed the words God said to Jeremiah. Don't tell God how small and weak and incapable you are. Go where He says to go, say what He tells you do say, and don't be afraid: God is with you, making your victories possible!

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