Only A Youth

Jeremiah 1:7 – But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak." (ESV)

In the wake of the tragic Parkland massacre, high school students in the United States have been much in the daily news. Young people are gravely concerned about the violence and want to make changes. Their voice is raw with intense feeling, and their statements are unfettered by any cultural niceties or social courtesy. They feel insecure and outraged; they express a strong desire to make a difference, so that their generation can live in a more peaceable world and a less intolerant one. They are determined not to let this moment pass away, so they are showing significant solidarity, which may eventually define this upcoming generation.

Sadly, some people are dismissing their views because they are young and inexperienced in the ways of the world. There is pushback against any proposed changes to current laws, and some folks are even disparaging the sincerity of the young people, accusing them of being political foils for clandestine groups. I find this difficult to accept because I've watched and listened to these young people on all sorts of different occasions, but I guess those who falsely promoted the conspiracy theories in the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut in 2012 are jumping on the same cynical bandwagon once more.

When God chose Jeremiah to be a prophet to his generation, Jeremiah pushed back against God's choice because he thought that he was too young. He couldn't see himself as being effective because of his age and inexperience, so he tried to get God to change His mind and pick someone else. But, as always, God knew what He was doing. He needed someone to be the voice of prophecy for an entire generation, someone who had decades of life ahead of him. God was enlisting Jeremiah's youthful zeal to a prophetic call that would constantly challenge God's people for many years. In other words, God knew what He was doing when He appointed Jeremiah to serve in the role of a prophet. No matter how young he was initially, God would use Jeremiah's voice for justice and mercy, truth and change. Perhaps He is still doing this with some high schoolers today.

Points to ponder: What kind of world do I want young people to live in? Am I willing to help them succeed in establishing this?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, when You were a teenager, You asked many questions in the temple, which amazed the elders and priests who heard You. Your life challenged traditional values and contemporary customs. You came both to save and to change the world. Allow us to continue Your ministry in our communities, so that we may make this planet a more peaceable and less fearful place. In Your holy name, we earnestly pray. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Amen, John.

    Dear John:
    Thank you so very much. May God bless you in your preaching and writing as you uphold a His truth.

    Thank you, John, for sharing this devotional with us. This horrendous event has touched so many hearts. I sincerely hope that changes will be made. Blessings.

    I am very excited and hopeful watching the young people mobilize. Let us hope that some group does not get involved and exploit them. Pray that they continue to act in this responsible and non-violent way.

    Thank you for your timely devotional. I am very happy these young people are standing out and speaking out. They can make a huge difference. In the 1960’s, the adults said we (my generation) wouldn’t make a difference either, …. and we changed the world!

    Good morning. Amen to your prayer. And … God is using your voice to send this message around the world. So proud of you for writing on this topic.
    May our Heavenly Father continue to empower our youth for much needed change in this world.

    It is always a gift to read your insightful devotionals. They are on the mark in today’s world and need to be circulated as widely as possible.
    God Bless.

    What an important message, John, that needs to be heard. There are young people who are changing the world, very different from how it was in our day. They are often accused of not being religious but I suspect they are hearing God’s voice more clearly than some in the older generations, including legislators.
    Thanks for speaking out.

    Hello John
    It is sad what is happening and yet powerful when you see young people taking a stand for change and doing it together. Also liked how you used Jeremiah as an example of God using a young person to bring about change for His glory. Praying that God would move in a mighty way with these young people and others come alongside them for change.
    God bless.

    Thank you for this thoughtful and provoking devotion. I pray that you are not merely ‘preaching to the choir’ as you write and speak God’s truth … and that many in your country would listen to the prophetic voice of the young people who are challenging the elected leaders to be good shepherds in tending to their flocks.
    What a perfect analogy to compare their voice with that of Jeremiah in calling government to account. Blessings.

    Greetings John,
    Many thanks for another great and poignant devotional this morning. Every day we hear about some horrific happenings in our world and we wonder what is ahead for our young people. I often find myself praying Lord please bring your peace, and change the minds of those who are motivated to cause harm or destruction. I think how much the Lord must grieve when he sees the actions and misdemeanours happening in so much of the world.
    Bless you for your writings.

    Dear Rev. Stuart,
    I have missed your delightful Daily Devotionals and hope you will continue to send them.
    God Bless.