“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6 NIV

 

COMPARISON CAN LEAD TO DISSATISFACTION

I love any chance I get to walk along the beach and feel the waves tickling at my toes. Since I don’t live near the ocean, these are very special times for me. However, I have great respect for those gentle waves — I know they can quickly become powerful. Several times in my life, I’ve been surprised by waves — actually being picked up by them and swirled around. I had no idea which way was up and was so thankful when I regained my footing.

 

This tossing back and forth by waves shows up in the Bible as well:

 

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,
because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea,
blown and tossed by the wind”
(James 1:5-6 NIV)

 

Being blown and tossed about can happen in many areas of life, but today I’m thinking about comparison. We all struggle with comparing ourselves to others throughout our lives: “Am I as good/smart/gifted as …?”, “I wish I had …” , ”If only …”, etc. When we compare ourselves to others, we become dissatisfied – and we may even doubt the plans God has for us. Such turmoil is much like being tossed about on the waves.

 

LOSING YOUR TRUE IDENTITY

 

Over the past few years, I’ve struggled with comparison in my chronic illness. At the beginning, I didn’t even realize I was comparing myself to others, and my pride took hold. Let me explain:

If someone tells me they have a friend with my illness and they are doing just fine, I wonder why I’m not. When I see someone with a chronic illness working full time, I wonder what’s wrong with me. When the medication that works for so many people doesn’t work for me, I compare their experience with mine. Every time I compare my journey to someone else’s, the waves pick me up and I can’t catch my footing.

God has been gently teaching me. He wants me to remember that this is the journey on which He has placed me. I can’t compare it to anyone else’s. He wants me to look to Him for my value and identity. More than anything, He wants me to remember that weighing how well others are doing with their illness makes me forget the ways that He has uniquely blessed and cared for me.

PRAYER

Father, help me to stand solid and keep my footing, knowing that you guide each step I take. Help me to find my value in how You see me. Thank you for your reassurance that you are journeying with me. I don’t need to be tossed by the waves – you have a plan for me. Thank you for blessing me in so many ways. In Jesus Name, Amen

 

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION 

  1. Has a wave of comparison recently tossed you about, causing you to lose your footing?
  2.  Is the Holy Spirit helping you see an area in your life where you might be comparing yourself to others and not realizing it?
  3.  Could you be valuing how others see you over how God sees you? Ask God to remind you of the unique ways He is giving you exactly what you need for your journey.
Kara Plett

Kara Plett

Chronic Joy® Content Writer and Prayer Team

Kara, her husband Conrad, and their crazy calico cat, Lulu, live in Calgary, Canada, where she has been a teacher for 28 years. Kara felt led to write a book of devotionals when her own journey with chronic illnesses pressed her into God’s arms of love more deeply. She prays that her journey and refinement will also encourage you in your walk with God.

Learn more about her book, Searching for Sea Glass: Journeying with God Through Chronic Illness - 30 Devotionals today!

Searching for Sea Glass

Searching for Sea Glass: Journeying with God Through Chronic Illness 30 Devotions

Kara J. Plett

Journeying with a chronic illness is hard, but as Christians, we don’t have to walk alone. God wants us to press into Him for strength, understanding, and perspective. These 30 self-paced devotions invite you to meet with God in a special way as you interact with His Word and complete the journaling activities within the pages.

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52 Questions of Jesus

Of the 307 questions of Jesus recorded in the Bible, 52 are listed here - one for each week of the year.

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