Jeremiah does not feel fit to fill the role to which he is called. He is too young. He does not have the experience. It isn’t that he’s worried no one will listen to him, though that would be the outcome I suppose. He’s worried that he does not have the skill to do what God is asking. He is worried that he will fail, that he is insufficient to the purpose. This isn’t a self-centered fear. This isn’t a fear of embarrassment or the pain he himself would experience. This is a fear of being a disappointment, of letting God down.
I can relate to this fear. The last thing I want to do is cause someone else trouble by failing to hold up my end of the job.
But God assures him that it will be ok. God would provide the message. All Jeremiah had to do was agree to speak it. God would tell him where to go. God would equip him for the calling.
It isn’t the only instance in the Bible of God promising to equip the faithful for the calling. And that’s the thing. There is none of us qualified. There is none of us equal to the task we have been set. We are too young. We are too ignorant. We are too weak. We are too old. We are too busy. We are too poor. We are many things, but we are none of us good enough.
Everything we do we do on God’s power. The greatest orator in history could never change a heart or save a soul. The task is to draw others back to God. We can’t do that. We can faithfully carry a message. We can faithfully demonstrate love. We can faithfully meet a physical or felt need as representatives of God’s mercy and grace, but we cannot see nor touch nor alter nor even truly influence the heart.
All conviction is in the hands of the Spirit. All salvation is in the blood of Christ. All eternity is in the love of the Father.
Our part is in the relationship. Our part is in the willingness, the openness, the choice to participate. The power is not ours.