So...this week was a bit crazy and there is no way I can fit it all into one letter, so I thought I'd share something that I've learned these past few weeks. The idea that the gospel makes things easier is the biggest lie that I've ever heard. It has never made life easy. The fact that Jesus Christ suffered the pains of the world is evidence against that. He is the gospel in flesh and bones and His task was not any easier. What the gospel does is it makes everything black and white, it simplifies things so that we can make decisions with confidence. It takes all the confusion and mixed emotion and just boils it down to two choices. One decision that we make over and over and over again: do I want to do what God wants me to do or do I want to do what I want to do? The gospel clarifies things, but it doesn't make making the decision any easier. Its like in Beauty and the Beast. There is the part when the father comes to the fork in the road. One of them looks safe and well traveled, the other looks super sketchy and precarious. When the father chooses the sketchy one...does he choose wrong or right? Really argument could be made for both options, but for the sake of this letter we are going to say that he chose the path that God wanted him to go down. Lets be real, every time we watch that movie it seems obvious which path he should have gone down. The other path looked safe, it looked better, it looked happier. But if he had gone down the "happy" path...Belle would have never met the beast and would have probably ended up as an old maid or married to Gaston. The Path that the father took was by no means easy. He suffered, he was imprisoned, and then...he had to watch his daughter trade herself for his freedom. Sad stuff, but this is Disney and so we know that it has a happy ending, its practically a guarantee. Belle ends up with the love of her life, she is happy. When the father was sitting in the jail, I doubt that the father ever imagined that anything like that was going to happen. The majority of the time, the other path looks and feels so alluring, the path away from that doesn't. But if you keep making those good decisions, the happy ending is guaranteed. No matter how lonely and painful the path, we have the Lord's promise that we will receive our reward-everlasting joy. Doing these things that we don't want to do, we show the Lord that He can count on us, that we are on His team and that we intend to stay there, we show Him that He can trust us and that is a trust you never want to lose. Moral of the story: Trust Him and He will trust you.