I used to have this fear of driving on the Interstate. When I was in undergrad, I had a professor who encouraged me to apply at Proctor and Gamble. I didn’t say it aloud, but thought to myself, “But, I would have to drive on the Interstate to get there.” I did apply anyway. The next thing I knew, I had an interview and then was offered a position there at Proctor and Gamble. Not only would I have to drive every day on the Interstate, but also would be parking and walking in downtown Cincinnati. I was petrified! This was huge for me!
Jeremiah is one of my favorite prophets of the Old Testament. The poor guy did not stand a chance to live his life as he may would have wanted. In Jeremiah 1:4-10, God comes to him as a young boy and tells him that before he was even born, he was consecrated to do the Lord’s work. Jeremiah responds, “For I am only a boy- I do not know how to speak” (v.6). And God says, “No, you are consecrated, appointed, and commanded…and by the way, do not be afraid.” And, then I love what God does – God touches Jeremiah’s mouth and says, “Now I have put my words in your mouth” (v.9).
When we are afraid, our fear holds us back. I almost didn’t take the job at Proctor and Gamble because of my fear of driving on the interstate! It seems so silly now, but at the time it was very real. In our waiting for the coming of Christ, we are called to be keepers of God’s Kingdom until he returns. I’m willing to venture that we could come up with every excuse in the book to keep us from doing what we are supposed to be doing. Jeremiah’s excuse, “I am only a boy,” didn’t cut it with God – nor will any excuse you have will cut it with God.
Here is what I know for sure…just as God gave Jeremiah the words to speak on God’s behalf, God will give you what you need to do whatever you feel you are being called to do for the Kingdom of God! My experience at Proctor and Gamble gave me the confidence to do what I felt ultimately in my heart – proclaim God’s Word!
God says, “Do not be afraid – for I am with you” (v.8). What might God be calling you to do while you are waiting for His return?