“Ah, Lord God,” Jeremiah said, “I don’t know how to speak because I’m only a child.” – Jeremiah 1
In the cornerstrone chapter of Jeremiah 1, God calls Jeremiah to be his prophet. To be sure, the job is dangerous.
He sets Jeremiah’s expectations correctly as he intends to give him the responsibilites of words which are “over nations and empires, to dig up and pull down, to destroy and demolish.”.
God knows that such threatening words does not lend to a peacable position. This reality is evinced in the emotional turmoil and stress reflected in Jeremiah’s words for the remaining fifty chapters and onto the rest of his life.
Yet the amazing thing is not necessarily that the danger that God expects Jeremiah to endure but that Jeremiah is only a child at this point. Which culiminates to this provocative and perhaps uncomfortable conclusion: God can call his children to danger.
How does this make you feel?
Being a parent now, as I read this passage, I begin to wonder what it would be like if, out of a loving relationship with God, God called my child to go to country with much more dangers than home. That their very life would be threatened by this obedience.
The protective, coddling, helicopter culture popular in our current Western parental society (which is now being engendered in me) resists such unsafe endeavors.
But perhaps God, as our perfect Father, has a different agenda to parenting. Where we would call our children to safety, perhaps God calls them to significance. Where we would call our children to life, perhaps God calls them to death, but alas–a death that leads to life!
Perhaps the resistence to this reality reveals our priorities in parenting are too earthly. That perhaps our parental goals are too low.
Do we have just the life of our child in mind, or even the life after life? I suppose that, when God called Jeremiah to this dangeous task, he had both.