When I first started working at the church where I currently serve, our staff was working our way through Jeremiah in weekly staff meetings. I enjoyed digging into God’s Word with my teammates. However, when our weekly staff meetings switched to be once a month, Jeremiah seemed to go on FOREVER! Thankfully we found a different way to engage with Scripture in that time to avoid spending years in one book, but it was nice to revisit Jeremiah these past two weeks in the 66 in 52 challenge.
At times it was a challenge to read when you realize the rebellion of God’s people at that time is so similar to the rebellion of our own hearts. But what stood out to me was Jeremiah’s faithfulness to His call. This book chronicles time after time after time when Jeremiah spoke God’s truth only to have it fall on deaf ears. I have to imagine he got a little glimpse of how God felt about it all… passionately pursuing His people over and over, longing to shower them with love and blessing, only to have them turn the other way in rebellion. Even in the face of death threats, starvation, and more, Jeremiah remained faithful to the call, one he doubted a bit at the beginning:
The Lord gave me this message:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” (Jeremiah 1:5-6)
God met him in those doubts and equipped him to be the prophet and leader God imagined from before Jeremiah was born. A few weeks ago I was out on a medical leave for a couple weeks recovering from surgery. As the end of my leave approached and I thought about the ministry I would return to at work, I had some moments of doubt as well. Could God really have called me to this? The practical tasks on my to-do list were many, but what really wore me down was the concept of how impossible it feels to truly disciple high school students and young adults in the middle of the culture and world in which we find ourselves living today. I can order t-shirts and reserve rental vehicles and run background checks and design programing. But can I help young people understand the joy and peace in following after Christ? I wasn’t so sure.
The same day I began reading Jeremiah I was reminded of a quote by author and speaker Rebekah Lyons I first heard back in February:
“God didn’t pick the wrong girl for ministry. Satan picked the wrong girl to mess with.” ~ Rebekah Lyons
This quote paired with the reassurance God gave Jeremiah in chapter 1 was enough to remind me of the reason I got into professional church work in the first place:
God made me for this!
Before I was born, God set me apart to join Him in His work in this world.
Coming out of high school, He led me to a college where I could learn and grow in my skills and abilities to prepare me for ministry.
Eight years ago He planted me in Buffalo and continues to reaffirm that call over and over again.
Like with Jeremiah, some days are harder than others, but there is no denying that God is at work and He has called me to join in.
So Satan, watch out, you DID pick the wrong girl to mess with! Let’s do this Jesus!