Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.”
- Jeremiah 1:6-7
This has been wonderful, and as much as we have appreciated the Tanzanians for this gracious hospitality, the experience has also caused us to reflect in a new way on these words from Jeremiah 1: "I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” Indeed, our reality of “not yet knowing how to speak” reminds us of the childhood experience. Being dependent on someone else to provide understanding or the right words to speak is an extremely humbling experience that requires and teaches trust.
Perhaps this is God’s message for us today. Jeremiah’s lack of self-confidence was not detrimental to the purpose that God chose for him. In fact, it was precisely his humility that left him with no recourse other than to trust God and to carry God's message and not his own into the world. This paradox of faith is true for us today. It will always be humility and not pride that enables us to accept God’s call.