Second Place People

Jon Burgess


6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”7“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”8Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. John 5:6-9


"He had been in this condition for a long time" the scripture says. Jesus could see that the condition of his body had changed the condition of his heart. The longer we are stuck in a place of a pain the more it defines our position. His repsonse to Jesus reveals that he had given up. He was a victim with no one to help him. He saw himself as a second place person risigned to spending his life watching others receive that which his heart longed for. Then Jesus looks him in the eyes and tells him to do the impossible. If it wasn't Jesus telling this paralyzed man to get up an walk it would be a seen as a cruel joke and salt in the wound. Jesus made this second place person his first priority. The maddening crowds, the cruel jeers, the life of pain faded into the background as Jesus saw something in him that he no longer saw in himself. This man who had been convinced that God had abandoned him now felt the surge of confidence that flows through the heart of every man and woman who knows they are at the top of God's list!


God wants to move us from victimhood to victory in this very moment. It's no wonder we think this way about ourselves. When we look and compare our situation with those around us we become convinced we are second place people. Why did my co-worker get the promotion I thought for sure was coming my way? I've been working so much harder. Why was their child healed and my child is still sick? I've been praying so hard! How could a guy like that get a girl that good? I have been living a pure life and can't seem to find a lasting relationship. How come God seems to speak to everyone else except for me? Just like the man sitting outside the gateway that promised healing inside we see life passing us by. The longer the healing is halted, the provision prevented, the breakthrough blocked the more we slide into the identity of the victim. I don't understand God's timing I just know it rarely matches mine. I don't know why the man had to wait 38 years for that conversation with Jesus outside the gate. I do know that it's a conversation with Jesus that changes me every time, every day, every moment. He gets my eyes off of myself and others and on to Him. The impossible becomes possible as I let the One who made me define me! He takes this second place person and heals me when I seek Him first in the very place of my pain!


Jesus, I stop in this moment and praise Your Name! I'm not at the end of some eternal line waiting for a moment with You. I'm taking immediate access to the Presence of God Almighty! You took second place on the Cross to offer eternal proof that I am Your first priority. You're not putting me off. You don't have favorites. I am Yours and You are mine. I wait on You and the spiritual breakthrough not because You are ignoring me but because there is a timing I do not see. Your timing is not my own, but I put my trust in You. Walk into this room so I can walk out with You!

Devotions for August 03

Nahum 1,2,3
John 5

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