Jeremiah 1: 6
Many Christians serving abroad will have found themselves in situations where they have been asked to teach either in a professional or Biblical capacity. While a great privilege, there are times when the going is anything but easy. People may feel inadequate or perhaps under-qualified at taking on something they would not normally get involved in at home.
Such was the case with me. I was three weeks post qualifying as a doctor and still awaiting my GMC certificate when I was invited to run medical seminars and address 100+ students at a Christian medical camp in Central Asia. The majority of them were non-believers having been brought up in the Communist era. It became rapidly apparent that my audience were expecting me to be the fountain of all knowledge regarding Western medicine when in reality I was a grown-up medical student.
I felt very much like Jeremiah when he was called as prophet. He was tongue-tied and inexperienced but the Lord recognised this and helped him (Jeremiah 1: 7 - 8). In fact, as Christians, we have a tremendous promise that God will ultimately uphold us in all that we do (Isaiah 28: 16, Psalm 55: 22).
The medical seminars were popular and three sessions quickly extended into ten as demand exceeded supply. I was exhausted by mid-week, and a combination of culture shock and tiredness made me really quite unwell. The evening talk I had to give was aptly titled ‘depression’, which quite succinctly summed up how I felt. The locals tried to comfort me but the language barrier just made me long for home.
When the night came, I was tempted to back out but suddenly became aware of how weak and vulnerable Jesus’ disciples were when they set out on their mission. In particular I thought of Paul with his ‘thorn’ (II Corinthians 12: 7 - 10) and his insistence that his words demonstrated the Spirit’s power through his personal weakness (also please see I Corinthians 2: 1 - 5). I was acutely aware of the presence of God during the talk. And later, as I shared how I had felt, many of those present understood what had kept me going and saw something of the Lord Jesus. Never forget the witness we can be to others through times of trial.
Prayer and Action
Commit to God in prayer your plans for the coming week. Confess your weakness to Him and ask Him to give you strength for all your work and activity.