Many of you may have heard of the site I Am Second. Great site I highly recommend checking it out. http://www.iamsecond.com/ . Over the past few months God has really been working on my heart in regards to that. In this life it is so easy to get caught up in yourself. Your wants. Your desires. Our flesh cries out for it. Putting God and others first doesn't come as natural. But it is what we are called to do. My husband and I have been reading the Gospels and Christ makes it pretty clear. In Matthew 10:26-28 he says,
"... but whoever desires to be great among you, let him be a servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave- Just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
As Christians we are supposed to be like Christ. Christ served- so we must serve. You can't read through the gospels without seeing over and over "and Jesus had compassion on them and met their need." How many times are we so focused on our wants/needs that we miss out on meeting someone else's need? How many times are we moved with compassion and still do nothing? I've been reading "To Live Is Christ to Die is Gain" by Matt Chandler. There is an entire chapter on humility. He reminds the reader that, "A life of humility is based on the cross of Jesus Christ, which tells us that Jesus could have done NONE of it but decided to endure ALL of it." Let that soak in. Maybe read it again. Christ had a choice and He chose to serve us. If anyone who has walked this Earth has had a right to be served by others it would be Jesus. Yet he didn't sit back and have the disciples pamper him. It was the opposite. He served them (He washed their sandy, messy feet) and He served others. How can we not look at that and try to serve others?
I was taught once to use the JOY method to pray when I was young. praise Jesus first. pray for Others second. pray for Yourself last. But I think this goes beyond prayer. To have joy in this life we must put Jesus and others before ourselves. It is not easy. Take infertility for example. When I am weeks late and miserable my initial reaction isn't to praise God for it and be thankful for the opportunities I've had to serve others through it. No. I want to rant and rail "Why ME God?" But when I get in the I am Second mindset- it is not so bad. Yes, physically I am still a wreck but God strengthens me to fight through it. So some may be asking how on Earth can I flip it around and see my infertility as a positive? When I think about my foster kiddos, the students in my classrooms, and the orphans I hope to help here- not having my own biological children doesn't feel so bad. When I think of everywhere God has brought me and all the experiences I've had- I can trust Him that He knows best. Serving others and serving Christ gives me joy to fight through the struggles of infertility. When I focus on me- that's when the depression of infertility hits.
I am by no means saying this is easy. Far from it! We cannot do it on our own. It is only Christ in us that allows us to do so. But it is the only way to truly live. So this Thanksgiving I am issuing a challenge to you and also to myself. Let's try living Second. Put God first in all things. Serve others before yourself. This is how we share our faith and change the World. So who is with me?