It's just as appropriate today.
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a servant to the nations.”
Then said I: “ Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot serve, for I am unskilled.”
But the LORD said to me: “ Do not say, ‘I am unskilled,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall serve. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD.
I rewrote the scripture (Yikes!) to make it personal to me. It's pretty cool when you read it like that. I think God does this for all of us. He calls us and He tells us what to do, but we say “Whoa. Yeah, I don't think so. I am too _________.” I know I did, I still do. But He says, “Nope, I know BETTER than that. I know you can do it, because I am with you and will make it possible.”
Too often, we get stuck in the “Whoa!” and are too scared to believe the “I know better” part. I see it all the time. In myself and other people.
The following verses where God touches Jeremiah's mouth made me think. I started thinking about how cool it must have been to be touched by God and then I remembered that God had touched me, too. I mean, not like I had forgotten all about it, but Jeremiah talks about God touching him and anointing him to say what God wanted to say, so I wasn't thinking about my own experience.
But, nonetheless, God did touch me once. I can confidently say that when I needed Him, He held my hand. I don't mean metaphorically, either. I mean I felt Him. When I think of that in Jeremiah's context I think “If God touched Jeremiah's mouth to give him words so he could speak, then he must have touched my hand to show me compassion so I could be compassionate.”
I think that's something I'm not great at: giving compassion. “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot serve, for I am unskilled.” But Jeremiah didn't speak his own words, he spoke the words of the Lord.