If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness, it’s easy to compare your life to the lives of your healthy friends.
Living with a disease that doesn’t have a cure can be difficult, especially when social media makes it seem as if everyone else has a perfect life with endless amounts of energy.
Don’t compare your chronic illness to the healthy lives of others.
Living With a Chronic Illness
There are two great prophets in the past who struggled with a disability. Both Enoch and Moses overcame them in separate ways.
Enoch Lived With a Chronic Illness
In Moses 6:31, Enoch is called to be a prophet:
And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
Whether Enoch had a stutter or was merely shy, he had a severe weakness in speaking when compared to others. When he expresses his concerns to the Lord, what does the Lord promise?
And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
Enoch’s mouth was filled, and he was able to teach the people with his own voice.
Moses Lived With a Chronic Illness, too
Then there’s Moses who is called as a prophet in Exodus 4:10:
And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
Moses also says that he was “slow of speech.” But the Lord doesn’t fill his mouth. Instead, he tells him that his brother Aaron is a good speaker. Moses will tell Aaron what to say, and Aaron will say it for him.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself
Do we recognize Enoch as any greater of a prophet than Moses?
Does Moses’ inability to speak himself make him any less worthy?
No, of course not.
Now replace this with yourself as a family member, a church member with an assignment, a parent….whatever your roll is.
Are there times that you can’t actually DO what needs to be done? But the Lord sends you people who can help do what you tell them to do?
We all have a mission in this life. Moses did. And the Lord sent him someone to help with it. When Moses tried to tell the Lord of his shortcomings, the Lord said, “and the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?”
The Lord MADE our bodies the exact way that they are. Period.
So when they fail, WE do not fail!
The Lord wouldn’t make it impossible for us to complete our missions for Him by giving us a faulty body. That would be like expecting my 2 year old to go over and make his own sandwich for lunch.
Lehi & Jeremiah
Another similarity like this is Lehi and Jeremiah. We don’t often think of them together, since one is Book of Mormon and the other is the Old Testament. But they were both prophets in Jerusalem at the exact same time.
Lehi was told by the Lord to flee from the destruction. Jeremiah was told to stay, and he ended up witnessing the entire destruction of his city and was carried into captivity.
On the surface, it looks the same: two prophets told to the preach the word to the same city at the same time. Yet the results were radically different for the two
Did the Lord love Jeremiah any less, and that’s why he was left to be taken to captivity? Of course not. They each had vital roles to play to different segments of the city.
Similarly, we can compare ourselves to others: on the surface, we’re just people trying to live the way Jesus Christ taught.
But the Lord has asked us to do radically different things with radically different circumstances.
He has a plan. And He is in charge. And we are needed exactly where we are, with our exact bodies that He created.
Just remember that.
If you need ideas on how to start, here are 15 ways to practice self-love right now.
An earlier version of this post that Tiffany wrote can be found on The Crazy Shopping Cart
Was this post on living with a chronic illness helpful for you? Do you know someone it could benefit from what you’ve learned about not comparing yourself? Share it on Pinterest!