“Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.” (Jeremiah 1:6–7 ESV).
Jeremiah might be my favorite prophet. With endurance and steadfastness, he pushed and pulled with the nation of Israel, but also with God. His road, like all the prophets', was hard. The people would reject him, over and over again, and he had to say hard words.
His start began privately. God had recruited him. God spoke to him, telling Jeremiah he knew him from before he was even formed in his mother's womb. Jeremiah was alive at that moment and in that place and with that heritage by the sovereign planning of God. He was God's man to bring a hard message to a rebellious people.
But Jeremiah didn't want to do it. Don't be so shocked. At times, you've felt similarly. Jeremiah's excuse was simple. "I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." There's something sweet about it, isn't there? He felt too young for the job, and his lack of experience kept him from gaining the skill to speak well.
God had none of it. "Do not say, 'I am only a youth,'" God told Jeremiah, "for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak." God doubled down on Jeremiah's call. The young man had to go. God's mission for his life was real. It could not be avoided.
I'm no Jeremiah. Neither are you. But we are both called to something. God has plans. He's got dreams and visions and purposes here on earth. His redemptive work is a thread throughout history, and now we are small players on his grand stage. He has put you in this time, at this place, with your past, for a purpose and reason. He fashioned you. He knew you when you were in your mother's belly. Mount up.
You see, our excuses do not move God. Jeremiah's youth and lack of skill seemed an obstacle to the young prophet, but not to God. He blew right past Jeremiah's concerns. God is bigger than Jeremiah, and he's bigger than you. He can use your life. He can help you overcome!