Excuses

Jeremiah 1:4-10

When God called Jeremiah to service, Jeremiah responded, “I am only a boy.”  God rebuked him, saying,  “Do not say ‘I am only…’” (Jeremiah 1:4-10)

Consider the story of Elijah and the widow whom God said would feed him. When Elijah asked her for food, she responded that she had only enough ingredients to provide one more meal for herself and her son; then they would die.  But she served Elijah first, and her tiny bit of meal and oil became sufficient to feed them all for many days. (1 Kings 17:10-16)

When the crowd listening to Jesus was hungry, he told his disciples, “‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ They replied, ‘We have nothing here but (only!) five loaves and two fish.’ But when they gave what they had, it was more than enough. (Matthew 14:16-18)

In Matthew’s story of the events we call Palm Sunday, Jesus instructs his disciples to bring him a certain donkey and her colt.  He says, “If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” (Matthew 21:3)

It was only a donkey – but if the Lord had need of the lowly donkey, who am I to think that God cannot use me? My ‘only’ is more than enough if I give it fully and willingly. The Message Bible expresses 2 Timothy 1:7 in these words: “God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.”

God says to me, “ ‘Do not say, ‘I am only….’ “(Jeremiah 1:7)

“The Lord needs you” is reason enough to respond immediately and give all that I am and have.

— Nancy R. Smith © August 2013

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About Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith has 20 years’ experience in technical writing and management in software companies. She also has more than 20 years in Christian ministry as an educator, course designer, retreat leader, spiritual director, pastor, and coach. A United Methodist Deacon, Smith has her M.Div. from Boston University. She is a graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, and is certified in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Leadership from Boston College.
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