Todd Rettberg knows about pain. He’s lived with chronic daily pain for over twenty years and has learned to trust God in it and through it. I met Todd through a friend and I’m thrilled to introduce him to you so you too can hear how he trusts in God in the thick of debilitating pain and how he’s found purpose there too.
Trust God is the second of my 7 Tools for Thriving, not just surviving, when life is hard. If life’s fallen apart on you or you’ve found yourself way off the map, these tools and Todd’s story will encourage you and give you practical tools to grab hold of life in the midst of all life’s earthquakes.
Enjoy ~ Niki
I have been reading a wonderful book, “Canoeing The Mountains.” It’s a Christian leadership book but I have found it very helpful with my daily chronic pain issues. It’s based on the expedition of Lewis and Clark that Thomas Jefferson commissioned to find a river that lead to the Pacific Ocean so they could control world trade. A matter of fact Britain, France, and Spain had sent explorers as well to find this waterway.
Lewis and Clark and their team arrived at what we now know as the Rocky Mountains. Their expectation was they were going to climb this mountain in front of them, get to the top and look down and see a wonderful river that would take them right to the Pacific Ocean. This would have aligned perfectly with who their expectations. But when they arrived at the peak, to their awful surprise there were miles and miles of mountains, no rivers in sight. One of the men in the party said, “these were the most awful mountains we had ever seen.” Everything they had prepared for, been trained in, were good at, was all thrown away. Instead of canoeing the rivers, as they expected, they had to canoe the mountains. They had to go “off the map,” figure out things they never thought they would have to deal with. Come up with a totally new plan, and think and act differently than they had in the past.
I have found that dealing with daily chronic pain for the last 24 years has made me trust God off the map, in territory I never thought I would have to climb or explore. I have had to go into the depths of darkness, have my hopes in a new doctor or procedure dashed on the rocks time and time again. Just when I would think there was a river in sight and some nice relaxing currents, there would be another mountain in front of me. Maybe you have felt this way or maybe you feel this way right now.
There is great hope off the map because God does His best work there.There is great hope off the map because God does His best work there. @ToddRettberg #Thrivedontjustsurvive Click To Tweet
When we know where we are going and life seems to happen just like we expect, trusting God is easy. But when the mountain shows up where the river is supposed to be, when my canoe doesn’t work for the situation in front of me, God is the only answer, trust becomes real, and not something we just talk about or sing about in church. As much as I hate going off the map as it relates to my daily pain, God is at work in and through it. Though the valleys can be very low and the challenges very overwhelming, He shows up time and time again in my life, off the map.
I don’t know anyone who wakes up in chronic pain or other on-going medical issues praising God every day. I do know the utter discouragement, frustration, and feelings of hopeless that can overtake my mind and body. But I also believe that God allows us to suffer for His glory, to have the pain draw us to the One who understands it better than any human in the world, and for the struggle to knock us to our knees knowing He is the only place to go. We serve a God that understands all the twists and turns off the map, who has gone before us and cleared the way so that not one moment of suffering is wasted.God does have a plan in the midst of the pain, though it may be hard to see it, feel it, or even believe it. @ToddRettberg Click To Tweet
There is hope even when things feel hopeless. God does have a plan in the midst of the pain, though it may be hard to see it, feel it, or even believe it. But if you are hurting, the only way to move forward is to believe in the truth that God loves you, has a plan for you and is using the pain for His glory. We have to stand on this truth because the enemy wants us to stand on the pain.
God does His best work off the map.
Todd Retberg has been in pastoral ministry for over 15 years, he has viewed up close the pain and suffering that many people endure daily–often without any apparent rhyme or reason. His own acquaintance with severe, daily chronic pain for the past 21 years gives him a unique compassion and understanding for those who struggle to reconcile their faith with their experience. Todd currently works for Standing Stone Ministry whose main goal is to care for pastors and their families as they deal with the stress of leading churches.
Has your life veered off the map recently? Or maybe you’re struggling to survive a long painful season and you’re feeling exhausted, alone and full of questions. If that’s you I’m so sorry.When I was battling rectal cancer I discovered 7 Tools for Thriving when life falls apart, that help us find more of life in the mess and heart ache. You can download your free copy today. Just click on the image below. If you want to chat, just send me an email (in the contact tab) and it will land in my inbox and I’ll get back to you. Or find me on social media. Niki xxx