Second anything feels sub-par.
First runner up means second place. A silver metal means second place.
Research shows that Olympic athletes who take second place are less happy than those who take first or third. Those who win a silver medal compare themselves to the one who won gold; the bronze medal winner , on the other hand, compares him or herself to those who didn’t win a medal at all.
In our human condition, second is not what we strive for. It often means we came up short, however it is what we are, or should be, all the time when it comes to our relationship with the Lord.
Truth: I am second
We have always been told we’re to be second and we have lots of examples to remind us of this. Here are a few:
- God went ahead of Moses and the Israelites after He had freed them from bondage in Egypt. He lead the way and they came behind him, fully protected and cared for.
They were second.
- Mary, mother of Jesus, accepted God’s plan for her to carry the Messiah, even though it would be impossible to explain to the world around. Nobody would believe her. The consequences of this could be severe, yet she allowed the Lord to go first when she said, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38, ESV).
She was second.
- Jesus went to the cross, on our behalf, to bare our sin and shame so that He could present us to His Father in heaven as holy and blameless. He went first so that we could spend forever with Him.
Thankfully, we are second.
Without Jesus going first, God couldn’t have looked upon us. He is too holy and we are too sinful. It wouldn’t have worked for us to have gone first.
Actually, it never works!
God is omniscient. Nothing surprises Him. There isn’t a day we will live that He hasn’t already seen. He is writing His story over the course of time and we simply get the privilege to be a part of it, however, we miss out on so much if we plow ahead of Him for the sake of being first–for wanting it our way. We also bypass His protection and guidance in addition to His plan. We serve a big God who can take the messes we make and turn them into beauty, but it will always go best if we let Him go first so that He can provide protection and lay out His will for us. He does both of these things for His glory and our benefit.
I wrote this prayer for myself, however, I welcome you to echo it if you struggle with being second.
Dear Sister: I encourage you to be second. He doesn’t have to tell us where He’s taking us or what He’s doing in us or through us. He simply wants us to trust Him. He wants us to be second so that He can be first. Let’s let Him! Be brave. Let your plans fall by the wayside so that His can move to the forefront.
I am second!
Side note: If you haven’t visited the website I Am Second, please do! It will encourage you in your walk with the Lord as you watch others share their ‘I Am Second’ testimonies. God is Simply Amazing!