"But you—up on your feet and get dressed for work! Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say. Don't pull your punches or I'll pull you out of the lineup." Jeremiah 1:17 (The Message)
Want to know a secret? I love acting almost as much as writing. A girl can have two passions, yes? Acting gives me permission to try on characters like a pair of shoes. Step into this role and I'm a wretched, spoiled child. Don't like her? Step into another pair of shoes and wha-la I'm a beloved sister, auntie or mother. Oh, the endless possibilities!
The best part? Convincing the audience I truly am that character; getting so lost in my new role that even I forget who's real and who's not. It's all in the lines - delivering them flawlessly, on time, as directed. That's what a director expects. It's what the audience needs in order to believe. Disappoint the director or the audience and you're out - replaced.
Pulling that off takes hard work - research, memorizing, practice, taking directions, walking the stage, dress rehearsals - until you've mastered the part.
God cast Jeremiah in an unlikely role. There he was, a young teen simply minding his own business when God says, You there, Jeremiah! I want you to be my prophet. I know, I know, you're just a child. No problem. Just stand up, deliver the words I place in your mouth. That's all. Oh, and BTW, don't try to add your own commentary or hold back anything I tell you to say. You do and I'll replace you.
God always chooses His message first and then equips His messenger.
Now, I'm not saying God bullied Jeremiah or that Jeremiah was insincere in his allegiance to God or his willingness to play this part. Jeremiah knew he was ill equipped and God knew it, too. That's why he chose Jeremiah. God knew he was the right person to take direction, do the hard work, stand ready, allow God's words to flow through him, and courageously confront the opposition.
All God expects is our obedience, faithfulness, and courage.
Is there a God-message He's appointed you to share? Are you feeling a bit like Jeremiah - young, lacking, and ill equipped? Are you wriggling out of your shoes in search of a better role to play or are you willing to let God direct your steps across life's stage?
I admit some days it's easier to play the part you've chosen for us and other days, it's just plain hard. Continue equipping us. Give us obedient hands and feet and continue placing Your words in our mouths. May we not add anything more or take any away. Fill us with your empowering, courageous Holy Spirit until your sovereign plan is complete. Amen