Jeremiah 1:9-10 - Then the LORD put out His hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."
Poor Jeremiah! Imagine being just a young man—probably a teen—and having God put such a responsibility on you: being a prophet with the power to affect the fate of nations and kingdoms. It must have been terrifying. No wonder Jeremiah tried to get out of it, saying, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth."
But God wasn't having that: "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 1:6-8).
We may not face exactly the same pressures Jeremiah did, but we have our own responsibilities. We might be parents or grandparents, caring for tiny human lives. Or we might be teachers or mentors of some sort, responsible for guiding the minds and actions of people in our care. We might be employers or managers, affecting the livelihood of those under us. We might do work that affects the public health or the financial wellbeing of people whose money we handle. We might even be voters or officials, making decisions that affect our common life together.
Whatever the responsibility, it's common—and helpful!—for us to feel like Jeremiah: "I'm not up to this task, Lord. I am not enough." We are right to feel this way, because it's true. We are not enough. We cannot, in ourselves, do the job God has put before us.
But look at what God did with Jeremiah: He touched Jeremiah's mouth, which symbolized the work Jeremiah would be doing, and He said, "I appointed you... I send you... I am with you to deliver you." Jeremiah would not be doing his ministry on his own. We aren't doing our work on our own, either. God has given us something even greater than our responsibilities—His own presence, guidance, and protection.
Of course, we are nervous when we start a new responsibility! But Jesus is with us. He has already walked the way we must now walk; He has already been in a position of responsibility—not just for one person or one family or one group of people, but—for all humanity. When He came to earth to save us, He was taking on an awesome responsibility. The whole fate of the human race was riding on His shoulders. And on the cross, it came down to Him alone, at His weakest hour, bearing the sin and the grief and the weakness of us all so that through His death, we could be saved. The responsibility was His. Now that He has risen from the dead and lives forever, He can surely help us with ours.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help me with the responsibilities You have placed in my life so that You Yourself will handle them through me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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