2/25/2013 Waddy Stryker (C’15)
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a branch of an almond tree.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.’ The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.’
Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you. –Jeremiah 1:11-19
As a child, I can remember many situations when I would be too afraid to do some sort of task by myself. This would be anything from going to the cashier to buy a toy to public speaking. I would feel so small walking up to that cash register, standing on my toes to see over the counter. However, my parents were always right there to give me a nudge while saying, “You go and we’ll watch you.” Just hearing those words would give me a comfort inside to complete whatever task I had in front of me. Yes, I may be small but my parents were watching over me.
Likewise, this is how I picture Jeremiah feeling as he receives his calling. For he says, “I am only a boy.” What struck me is that God does not seem to disagree that he is a “boy” or needs more maturity. Rather He corrects Jeremiah for saying he is "only" a boy. In other words, yes, you may be like a boy standing against the tall world ahead, but you are also my child and I am watching over you. Knowing that God was behind him, I’m sure he received a comforting peace inside of him.
Being children of God, how would our daily lives at home, school, and work change if we consistently reminded ourselves that God is with us, while we face challenges and fears?
Know that God is with you and may you receive the same confidence God gave to Jeremiah as you live each day.