The ‘Work’ of Living with Chronic Illness and Pain

workHave you ever considered your illness your work? Bronlynn shares its unique value.

“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 they have recently met i, “what kind of work do you 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 our diseases 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, knowing that the eternal benefits will more than compensate for the earthly discomforts. Amen.

About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in North Carolina and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband, three daughters, and their husbands. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at

How can you be a more effective “employee” of the Lord in your work of pain and illness? Can you share more with others about the benefits of your job–the constant provision of God through your pain now and the prospect of a pain-free future because of salvation? Can you mentor someone else who is new to this job?

This is the song “A Million Miles Away” with Hawk Nelson. The lyrics share how When God becomes the center of our life all the other “stuff” once worried about or prioritized suddenly falls away. In reality, I wish it was suddenly and easy!

Satan has great power to tempt us into demanding answers from God and to doubt His unconditional love for us. But God can help us reset our priorities. And one of those can be in how we find worth in ourselves, as with a job or career. Hoping this blesses you today. -Lisa