We have all felt like we are too young at one time or another. We may be too young to do something we want to do, or we may use the excuse of being too young to avoid doing something we don’t want to do. I would like to focus on the second thought, here. As an example, have you ever had a good friend who didn’t know Jesus? It’s our duty to share the gospel with them. It can be terrifying. But someone in the Bible went through something very similar. His name?
If we’re familiar with the books of the Bible, we would know Jeremiah as the author of the Book of Jeremiah. With some research, we discover that he was also the author of 1 and 2 Kings and the Book of Lamentations. Jeremiah was sometimes referred to as the “Weeping Prophet”. Jeremiah was to reveal the sins of Israel and explain the reasons for the coming disaster: destruction and captivity by Babylon. The first chapter of the Book of Jeremiah is the call of Jeremiah to become a prophet. I find it very interesting, and something we can relate to today. Let’s take a look at Jeremiah 1:4-8 (this is a conversation between God and Jeremiah):
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “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.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ 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.
Here, we see Jeremiah put forth an excuse (“I do not know how to speak”) and a “reason” for that excuse (“I am too young”). Does it sound a bit familiar? Not all of us may have had trouble specifically with the speaking part of sharing the Gospel (though I’m sure many of us do), but “I’m too young” comes out of our mouths far too often. “I’m too young; I won’t know what to say” or “I’m too young; I won’t know what to do” or “I’m too young; I’m not smart enough”.
But listen what the Lord says: “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ 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.” This very clearly shows God’s opinion on the matter. Although it’s true that we gain wisdom with experience as we grow older, God can still use us whether we’re young or old.
Joshua 1:9, one of my favorite verses, says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” We don’t have to be afraid. Even if we’re young, or shy, or aren’t a Bible experts, God will see us through.
Psalm 71:17 says, “Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.” The Psalmist says “since my youth“, not “since I turned 20”. God can use us today, right now, at this very moment. Isn’t that wonderful?