“’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.’” (Jeremiah 1:5-6)
The Lord called Jeremiah to be His prophet at the start of good King Josiah’s religious reformation. His call was to proclaim God’s judgment which would come without fail even though the reforms would delay it. Jeremiah hesitated to take up the call but not because he knew this. He did not. He was not afraid of the people or how they would accept such a severe message, at least not at this point in his ministry. The problem was that he knew his own temperament, that he was not wise, strong or gifted enough to deliver it, to be a prophet. He knew that he could not do what the Lord asked of him. Yet the Lord promised to give him all the resources and strength to carry out the call. In fact, whenever God calls one of us to do His work in any way, He always supplies us with the power, authority, words and wisdom we need so that weakness, inexperience and lack of ability is never an excuse: it is what qualifies us. We cannot thwart God’s will no matter how inept we think we are.
Yet many people still seek to thwart God’s will to accomplish their own. This is not love. As Saint Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 13, love is focused on others and on God, not on self. For this reason, we believers ought to note with thoughtful sobriety the opening words the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. These words remind us of God’s love for and His providential care over every human being as they imply that God is fundamentally involved in the creation and formation of every human being, even those whose lives are terminated before birth. The Lord gives life. He determines and shapes the DNA of every individual. He creates each for His purposes and calls each to do His will. If we truly love God, we will act and work in accordance with His will.