“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5, CSB)
A few years ago, there was a television show titled “Dirty Jobs.” Each episode, the host of the program would come along beside people who worked difficult, dirty jobs. It seemed like every week he’d find himself in muck, mire, or manure of some kind. Any time I’d watch it, I’d be thankful I didn’t have to earn a living doing those tough jobs.
The prophet Jeremiah had a tough job of his own. He was going to take a message from God to a people who didn’t want to hear it. He was going to be a prophet. And, as you might expect in the face of that enormous task, he had some reservations. But before he could even mutter them aloud, God filled his heart with a simple assurance. Long before you were born, I made you for this. Long before this moment, I set you apart for this. Long before you were born, I appointed you to do this.
What an encouragement to a young, hesitant prophet. God’s words reminded Jeremiah that he had a purpose. And, God had made him for just that purpose. The Lord had formed him with all that he would do in mind. He wasn’t mismatched or misplaced. As long as Jeremiah was where the Lord wanted him, he was in the perfect place to do what he had beem prepared to do.
That same encouragement is ours as well. We may not be prophets. We may be nurses or teachers or moms just trying to make it through the day with a houseful of toddlers. We may be factory workers or students or retirees. We may be in tough places carrying on difficult ministry. Whatever we’re doing, wherever we’re doing it, as long as we are surrendered to the Lord and doing what He’s called us to do for His glory, we are doing what he’s prepared us to do.
As you engage in your own tough job today, know that you are not ill-quipped. You are not out of place. God is working through you in His own way to accomplish His purpose and plan. Your life may not look like someone else’s. That’s okay. God prepared you for and placed you in your context. He placed them in theirs. Don’t get caught up looking around. Stay focused. Stay grounded. Keep doing what He’s appointed you to do. Your context may be tough, but you were born for it. You can do it because God formed you long ago with it in mind. He’s prepared you your entire life for this day. Live it confidently in Him.