Series: Grow Strong
Sermon: Growing What
Speaker: Jessyka Albert
Writer: J. Murdock
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit.
Read: Jeremiah 1:6 (NIV) As you read through this singular verse in Jeremiah, note any insights or questions that arise.
Reflect: Dependency is a tricky situation to reconcile with. From conception through to the first few years of our lives, we are entirely dependent upon our parents for absolutely everything. Without proper care and protection, babies cannot endure for a single day. Children adapt suddenly—going from toddling to walking—and dependency becomes a challenge to overcome. I recently listened to a stand-up special where the comedian speaks of a time when his children were first learning to walk and used every opportunity to bolt when unattended which prompted the comedian to wonder, “Where exactly do you think you’ll go?Everyone you know is here. You have no ascertainable life skills. You can’t open a door or feed yourself, so why are you always trying to go somewhere?” That sort of behavior seems to continue up until the time we have children of our own. We crave independences. But independence in theory and in practice are two entirely different realities.
For the young adult seeking separation shortly after graduating from high school, independence can’t come soon enough. That is, until the first bump in the road arrives. And suddenly, the freshly-launched fledgling experiences the effects of an empty nest from just outside of the one they called home moments ago. We desire independence, but we are not always ready for it when it arrives. In our heart of hearts, we believe that it is our intention to be independent adults with the freedom to choose as we please (and not simply to do as we are told). But when the pipes freeze in our 800-square-foot studio, or the tire blows out on the freeway, or the first bill arrives in the mailbox before the first paycheck hits our bank account, we panic and want to be children again with someone looking out for our wellbeing.
Scholars are unsure of just how old Jeremiah was in the opening of his self-titled book. But he was young. Young enough to be considered dependent on parental support. Still unsure of how to speak, yet firmly aware of his calling to be a priest to the Lord, Jeremiah comes face-to-face with a call from God appointing him to speak as a prophet. And in all of his youthful wisdom, he balks at the chance to stand firm in his convictions and instead stammers, “Ah . . . Lord God! I don’t know how. I’m just not ready. I’m still too small. I’m only a kid.” Jeremiah has the intention of following in God’s will, but allows his fears to fuel his thoughts of inadequacies despite recognizing that was the Lord who was calling him into action.
Recalibrate: How dependent are you upon God on a daily basis?
Respond:Pray for God to show you areas in your life that could use a stronger sense of dependency on the Lord.
Research: As difficult as it can be, find times in your life where you can safely admit that you are really only a youth. Give space for someone to speak a new truth in your life that you would otherwise miss.
Live Wonder (ages 0–3): As much as your child depends upon you as their parent for everything, you must rely on your heavenly Father for the strength to endure. Pray with your child to have the same faith in Jesus so that in times when you both are in need, you can spend that time together relying upon Jesus.
Live Adventure (ages 4–11): What scares you? What do you think would help you be brave in the times when you’re the most afraid? How might Jesus help you when you’re scared?
Live Purpose (ages 12–16): The world may look at you through the lens that says you’re too young to handle important decisions. As you look at the world around you, what do you think you bring to the table that could make the world a brighter place? Jesus sought to bring Good News to the world through you if only you would let Him into your world and rely on Him for your strength and courage. Are you game to try?