Sunday, March 1, 2015

The "Work" of Living with Chronic Illness and Pain

“See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord”
(Colossians 4:17).

Typically one of the first questions people ask someone new is what kind of work they do. In our society we are identified by what we do, and it’s easy for much of our self-worth to come from our work. Pain or illness may prevent us from having a full or even part-time job, but have you ever thought of them as the work God has given us? 

The job of handling chronic pain and illness is a challenging one.  We work 24/7, 365 days a year.  We have no vacation time.  Our co-workers may or may not understand our issues, so human relations can be difficult. We may be more sleep-deprived from pain than those who commute long hours to their jobs. And a promotion to something better in this life may not come. There is no doubt about it – managing pain and illness is hard work. 

But this work is something we have received from God, and we are to complete it. Our boss is the most faithful, forgiving, loving, and compassionate Being in the universe, and this job is conforming us more into His likeness. Our work provides unique opportunities to share our faith that we would not have in other situations.  Our current paycheck may not be the greatest, but the retirement plan is phenomenal.

We don’t have to feel inferior to those who have “regular” jobs. Living with pain and illness is a full-time job.  We work hard trying to manage our health issues and maintain our faith and testimony through them. This God-given work matters.  We are valuable employees of the kingdom of heaven.  So let’s complete the work well.  Our promotion will be worth it.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I must confess that oftentimes I don’t want this job of a living a pain-filled life.  Yet I know You are using it for my good and Your glory.  Give me the willingness and diligence to complete this work, and to remember that the long-term benefits will more than compensate for the temporary discomforts.  Amen.


  1. Thank you so much for this beautiful and uplifting post. I came across it just when I needed to hear these words. Thanks again. ♥

  2. Mary Anne, so glad God used this in your life. Blessings to you as you continue your work!