Turns out a lot.
My fourth grade knowledge of the Bible's most ancient text did a grave disservice to its complexity and depth of insight. I've found the more I venture into the Old Testament, the more I learn about God. The more I learn, the more awestruck I am of His Word—all of it.
Last week when I wrote about Jeremiah 29:11, I did some research on Jeremiah. In doing so I became intrigued and figured it was about time I tackled this book, the longest in the Bible.
However, since I recently struggled through reading Isaiah, I wasn't real anxious to read another prophet (there’s only so much wrath and destruction one can take.) But where Isaiah starts right off with divine anger, Jeremiah begins with tenderness.
I was unprepared to encounter God so gentle. So intimate. So patient. So loving.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”
But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” (1:5-10)
I’m tangled in those words. Lost in His tender affirmation. Conscious of the still small voice that whispers to my soul:
“Kelli, long before you came to be, I knew you. I formed you and set you apart. You may not understand it, but I have a plan for your life. But, I need you to follow me.”
“But Lord, I don’t have what it takes. I’m too inexperienced. I’m filled with such doubt. Don’t you see all those more qualified?”
God replied, “Hush child, don’t forget that I see you not as you are, but as you will become. I didn’t create you to live in fear; I created you to fulfill my plans for your life. You must do as I say and go where I lead you. But remember you won’t be alone, I’m with you every step of the way. I made you, how can you doubt me?”
“Lord, I want to believe. Help my unbelief.”
God gently touched my lips, “Shh. I am giving you the words to say, the thoughts to write, the heart to love. As you follow my lead, you’ll go to many places and meet many people. Sometimes the message you carry will be easy, other times it will be difficult. Through it all, take heart because I’m with you and I’ll take care of you. Now let's get started.”
Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak
Lyrics by Mercy Me