At first, Jeremiah didn’t think he would make a good prophet. “Behold, I cannot speak,” he protested when the Lord first called him (Jeremiah 1:6). The Lord reassured him, “I have put my words in thy mouth” (verse 9). Jeremiah felt that he was an inexperienced “child” (verse 6), but the Lord explained that he was actually more prepared than he realized—he had been ordained to this calling even before he was born (see verse 5). So Jeremiah set aside his fears and accepted the call. He warned Jerusalem’s kings and priests that their pretended holiness would not save them from destruction. The “child” who thought he could not speak came to feel God’s word “in [his] heart as a burning fire” and could not be silent (Jeremiah 20:9).
Jeremiah’s story is also our story. God knew us, too, before we were born and prepared us to do His work on the earth. Among other things, that work includes something Jeremiah foresaw: gathering God’s people, one by one, to “bring [them] to Zion” (Jeremiah 3:14). And even if we don’t know exactly what to do or say, we should “be not afraid … ; for I am with thee, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 1:8, 19).