Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot…

Today many of us, if not most of us, will make resolutions or plans or goals, we will start fresh. We’ll make charts and journal, we’ll clean and write lists, organize and get ready to purchase items that make our new life easier and cleaner. That’s all great! In fact I think it’s helpful that we want to change to start fresh to move forward. Let’s do it!

Today I woke up, made my coffee and sat down to start a fresh in a new book of the Bible. No resolutions to speak of. I sat down and read the first chapter of Jeremiah and as I read I knew what I wanted this year to be about. I knew what I wanted my life to look like and the change I wanted to see take place in me.

Here is how the conversation went between Jeremiah and the Lord:

“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’ Then said I: ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak for I am a youth.’ But the Lord said to me: ‘Do not say, ‘I am a youth, ‘ For you shall go to all to whom I send you and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 1:4-8

I’ve heard this portion of scripture time and time again. But today it caught me and brought me in, it spoke to me. I went through and circled the “I” statements that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah and in turn spoke to me.

“I formed you… I knew you…I sanctified…I ordained” v.5

“I send…I command” v.7

“I am with you to deliver you.”v8

“I have put My words in your mouth”v.9

“I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms” v.10

“I am ready to perform My words” v.11

“I am calling” v.15

“I will utter” v.16

“I command you” v.17

“I have made you this day a fortified city” v.18

“I am with you’ says the Lord, ‘to deliver you.” v19

In all of that what was Jeremiah’s I statements?

“I cannot speak, for I am a youth” v.6

Jeremiah saw his shortcomings, Jeremiah saw himself. God saw Jeremiah as a vessel, a vessel that He created, a vessel He would use to speak His words not Jeremiah’s words. If we, or in this case if I get out of my own way, if I get out of God’s way and allow Him to be who He is in my life and in the lives of those around me I don’t need resolutions, I don’t need plans or charts or schemes all I need is Him.

This year I want to step aside to allow God to form me , sanctify and ordain me to send me and command me, to be with me, to put His words in my mouth, to set me where I need to be, to perform and to utter, to make and to deliver me. I don’t want to be stifled and halted by what I can’t do and know what He can do and will do through me if I allow it.

I used to tell my preschoolers that they could not tell me that they can’t. I used to sit with them until they could. I’m still not a fan of the word can’t but the truth is we can’t, not as humans, not on our own but He can and he will when I step aside and stop saying “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot” and start saying Lord you can.


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