Called: Your Passion + the World’s Need
Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
‘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! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.’ But the Lord said to me,
‘Do not say, “I am only a boy”;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.’
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lordsaid to me,
‘Now I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.’
Have you ever felt captive? Held hostage by someone or something? Stuck in the rut of everyday seeming the same as the one before? Paralyzed by the constantly changing present?
We are all held captive at different times, in different ways.
As the book of Jeremiah opens, Israel is in captivity wondering: What will our future be?
Into this situation, God calls Jeremiah. And there is a familiar pattern to this call story:
- God interrupts someone with a call and issues marching orders
- The one called resists (usually with good reasons in mind)
- God insists, reassures and empowers the one called
The point: Acceptance of a call usually happens only after struggle
God is relentless in calling us because the world needs us – the world needs us right where its need meets our passion.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” – Frederick Beuchner (pastor, theologian)
“When your great passion meets the world’s great need, then you’re becoming who you’re meant to be.” – Kyle Matthews (singer, songwriter)
We must get clear about our passion – our deep gladness – and the needs of the world around us. And this does not happen without struggle, but when we journey through the struggle to find the place where these meet, then our call will be clear and we will find that we are following in the footsteps of Christ.