Jeremiah 1:4-10 (NRSV)

4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, “I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.
8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.”
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV)

11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.                            

DEVOTION -Esmar Ferreira (Cwara, Brazil)

After 10 years out of the job market, I was invited to participate in a work group to develop fund-raising projects to benefit the community.  The group was composed of a social worker, a psychologist, and educational psychologist, and me, a psychology student.  Among these colleagues I often felt small and unprepared for the challenges.

In moments of weakness, we are tempted to let our insecurities and limitations grow.  Suffering generates anxiety, and we end up hiding our potential and withdrawing from the opportunities God has in store for us.

What a relief to know that God has plans for us, plans for our welfare and not for evil and distress!  Knowing that God trusts us gives us the strength and courage to face our challenges and to realize our potential and our gifts.  “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”  (Rom. 8:37).

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We are all capable because God empowers us.

PRAYER: Thank you, God.  Even when we doubt our abilities, you hold us in your loving arms and show us how capable we are.  Amen.