“Who knows? Maybe you were made for just such a time as this.” – Esther 4:14
Jeremiah had his doubts. He doubted his abilities. He doubted his call. And ultimately, he had doubts about God. Some might think that these doubts would disqualify him from being a priest and a prophet. Yet, I am convinced that it was because of his doubts that God persisted in calling Jeremiah to be a prophet of the Lord.
Jeremiah was given a strong and dangerous message to the people of God. The great ancient empire of Babylon would be coming soon to destroy Judah and carry its people into exile. Jeremiah would proclaim that this outward destruction of their home was directly related to the inward havoc the people of God wrought upon their hearts. Idolatrous practices, rampant injustice, and a shallow faith were tearing at the soul of the people of God.
The destruction and exile of the people of God would most certainly cause some to doubt. In ancient times the common belief was that the people who won battles had the bigger God. How could the Israelite God be the King of Kings if God is defeated by Marduk, the deity of Babylon? Once in exile new doubts would surface. Was God still with them in the exile? The temple of God had been destroyed and abandoned. Would they one day be able to return to their ancestral lands? A people who would be wrestling with doubt needed a prophet/priest who could understand their doubt.
To the people of God Jeremiah said,
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
This verse sounds differently in the mouth of one who has known doubt than in one who has never had any occasion to doubt.
God works through our talents and skills. And God works through our struggles and our failings. God can bless others with our offerings and God can bless others with our brokenness.
Let us lay aside any preconceived notion of what we “should” be in order for God to make a difference in the lives of others through us. Give it all to God and ask that God use it all to bless others. Your triumphs and your trials are all experiences that God will use to be a blessing.