September 19, 2017 • Life for Leaders
“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
As the children of Israel were buffeted about by the more powerful nations of the ancient Near East, they must have sometimes felt like “a worm.” This image conjures up a sense of smallness, powerlessness, and vulnerability. Worms can’t fight back. And they are easily crushed.
Yet God offered reassurance to his people. Though they may have felt like a mere worm, he was there to help them. He would redeem his people—bringing them back to their homeland, protecting them, and blessing them with his presence.
Most of us know what it’s like to feel like a worm. Perhaps it happens at work when your boss treats you like a tool rather than a person. Or maybe it’s when you see your savings slip away through medical bills or bad investments, and you realize you can’t do anything to stop it. Or perhaps you feel like a worm in your family relationships. No matter the situation, God’s promise to Jacob is true for you and for me. God is with us to help us.
I’m reminded of what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12 when talking about the “thorn in [his] flesh” that tormented him (12:7). When he asked God to take it from him, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (12:9). This taught Paul a profound truth: “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (12:10).
Though we are weak, God is strong beyond all measure. There is no situation from which God will not redeem us. Thus, we can have confidence in him and receive his gift of peace, even when we are weak and waiting.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
When have you felt like a worm?
What difference did God make in that time?
Have you ever experienced the peace that comes from knowing God is with you when you feel small and powerless?
Gracious God, Mighty God, how I thank you for being there to help me, especially when I am weak. Sometimes I feel like a worm, Lord. And that’s not altogether silly, because I am weak and vulnerable. How great it is to know that you are there to help me.
O Lord, how I praise you for being my Redeemer. You have delivered me from so many messes, from chaos and heartache. More importantly, you have redeemed me from my bondage to sin and death. Through Christ, you have set me free to know the fullness of life. How grateful I am to you, my Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Assessing Performance (2 Corinthians 10–13)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.