“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’ 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 1:4-8).
Everyone who knows me well (or honestly for two seconds) knows that I love to eat. Who would let me come over to their house for dinner? I’ll help clean your cupboard out.
I’m smart enough to know that if you invited me over for a meal and asked me how it tasted, I wouldn’t respond, “Well, I liked about 95% of it, but you could have seasoned it better.” I’d say it was fantastic with no complaints.
In the above passage, we see Jeremiah complaining. The inventor of inventors, the God of creation made Jeremiah, and Jeremiah just told Him that he wasn’t good enough.
This passage shows us that God’s perspective of His creation is so different than the perspective we have of ourselves. And because Jeremiah wasn’t content in who God made him to be, he didn’t want to answer God’s calling initially and complained, “I am only a youth.”
We might say things like:
>I am only a screw-up.
>I am only a writer, a mechanic, a secretary, a mom, a cashier or a waitress.
>I am only a Sunday School teacher, greeter or background vocalist.
>I am only a follower, not a leader.
>I am only boring or quiet.
We are all one of a kind. God made every part of us, meaning He didn’t create our strengths and then hand over the tools to Satan to make our weaknesses.
God knew exactly what He wanted you to be before you drew your first breath. I don’t think we realize how offensive it is to God when we believe that He messed up a bit on our makeup or design.
Sure, we want to be aware of our humanity, but we need to remember we’re products of heaven, made by a perfect Creator.
As a father, my son isn’t partially my child because of his limitations, especially as a toddler. There’s a lot he can’t do, and when he does help squeeze the ketchup, usually it’s more of a mess than if I just did it myself. However, he is fully my son from the moment he was born, sin and all. I’m not waiting until he’s older and more capable to enjoy or empower him.
>What is your “I am only” statement?
>Are you content with how God made you? Why or why not?
>What weakness don’t you like about yourself?