Average reading time is about 1 and a half minutes
AN AMAZING FACT: Winston Churchill struggled for much of his life to overcome a lisp. As a young man, he consulted a specialist who told him that all he needed was practice and perseverance. At one time, he believed he had an extra ligament that no one else had that was causing his problem. He worked doggedly to overcome the lisp, repeating phrases like, “The Spanish ships I cannot see for they are not in sight.” Many years later he was able to say, “My impediment is no hindrance.”
One of the most common fears is glossophobia—the fear of public speaking. Nearly 75 percent of people report some fear of public speaking. How much worse might that fear be if one suffered from a speech impediment? Or what if the speaker was too young to be respected? Or what if the content of the speech was sure to anger the audience?
In Jeremiah’s case, both of the last two scenarios were true. His message was intended to “root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down” before he could “build” and “plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). Messages of destruction don’t often win friends, and, indeed, Jeremiah laments that he is a “man of contention to the whole earth” and that “every one of them [curse him]” (Jeremiah 15:10). In addition, Jeremiah was under the age of 25 and perhaps only 18 or 20 at his calling to the ministry. It’s no wonder that Jeremiah objected, saying, “Ah, Lord God! Behold I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
In spite of the circumstances, God insisted Jeremiah follow His command, then encouraged and enabled him: “Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you. … Behold, I have put My words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:8, 9). No matter what our impediment, God wants to make it no hindrance.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9