Have you ever thought about the power of being known? How does it make you feel when someone you recently met remembers your name the next time they see you?
Unfortunately, many feel unknown and, therefore, don’t live up to their full potential.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post, entitled, Give Over Your Lunch. (If you haven’t read it, you can do so here.) I shared a story of being at the cafeteria in high school, hoping to find someone I recognized.
To my delight, I did! I think what was most meaningful to me in that moment was discovering a familiar face amid unfamiliar ones at a new school. The person who said, “Hey Dave, over here,” knew me personally.
Thousands of years ago, in a small town a few miles north of Jerusalem, there lived a boy named Jeremiah. He was just like any other boy: he had hopes, aspirations, wanted friends.
Sadly, the world in which he lived was in chaos. His people – the Jewish people – were under threat of the largest political empire of their day, the Babylonians. Eventually, the Babylonians came in, destroyed Jerusalem, and forced people into exile.
Like modern-day Syria, Jeremiah’s country was ravaged by war and threats and people lived as refugees in a foreign land.
This is the place he was born into – a place of chaos and uncertainty.
Yet God had something in store for him.
“Before I formed you in the womb,” God said to Jeremiah, “I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
There are two main lessons we can learn from this:
1. You are known. Think about this. Before you knew anything, or anyone (including your parents) you were known… by God.
This means, then, we are not – as Seth Godin puts it – cogs, placed on earth to do mindless work.
No, we are known by a Personal God who invites us into an incredible Story, a Story we have a part in.
2. You are appointed. Appointed: what a powerful word. It means selected, chosen, established especially for some task.
Think back to your schooldays when you were selected for a team, or for a special honor, or for a high-ranked chair in band. How did that make you feel?
Now think about how the God of the Universe has selected/chosen/called/established you for a specific task and purpose… Amazing!
Eugene Peterson says, “We are chosen out of the feckless stream of circumstantiality for something important that God is doing… Before we were born he chose us for his side.”
Jeremiah responded like most of us have responded when we are given an incredible task:
“Ah, Sovereign LORD,” he said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child” (1:6).
What did God say? Did He dismiss him, blow him off, say, “Fine, I’ll choose someone else.”
Nope. God said…
“I am with you.”
Four powerful life-changing words. Really, what else do we need?
There’s no more excuses. No I’m only-s.
God gives us everything we need to make it in this chaotic world; but we need to believe He is with us. (Tweet this.)
I hope you believe this!
Question: Do you believe God knew you before you were born and has appointed you for something great? Please share.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, christopherallisonphotography,com