05 Dear Brother,

Your most recent response is perturbing at best. You seem to have glossed over everything that I said about God almighty’s mercy in your life and instead have elected to focus on the final TWO sentences of my correspondence. Quality certainly matters more than quantity, but the suitor that brings a dozen of the finest roses in the world will surely win the heart of the lady over the sap that found only one of the same variety. Why then do you analyze the final line of text!? It is but a promotion of the greater writing. Alas, I cannot run your mind and will thus do my best to respond to your objections, if they may be labeled as such. They seem too timid to be objections and yet too specific to be casual observations. I hope you will take greater care to share more of your mind next time.

Your first point, “How can we be sure that we will endure worse and enjoy better? Is it not possible that we will die tonight?” is a self defeating question. Tell me, in death are not both found? Provided you are in a state of grace are not you overjoyed to go to your Lord? And yet you leave behind precious brothers and sisters that love you. If you are in right relationship the sorrow here is little, but nonetheless present in some amount. I admit that this may be a presumptuous assertion and cannot be claimed on behalf of all. I’m sure that those who truly love the Lord are overcome with joy at their passing. Grief for those left behind would be fleeting when the blaze of heavenly glory purified it into a zeal for their souls to experience the same. However, if one weren’t in such a place death would be the final moments of pride sealing one’s decision to reside forever in Hell. How lonesome a place can that be? So fixed on the power of one’s self that God is intentionally forever abandoned by the individual. It is then an act of will to forever endure the misery of pride. In summation, we cannot be sure in a sense that we will endure worse or enjoy better. However, that is not a fatal blow to my initial statement. “Why?” You may be thinking. I qualify that thought with the fact that we will endure more so long as we cling to Christ. The deeper that we fall in love with Jesus, the more we are able to endure because of our surrender to Him. I believe that if we are drawing closer to Him then we are enduring more pain because He wishes for us to know Him. He experienced all pain. It is precisely in sharing this that our capacity to love is expanded and we experience more joy than ever before. Therefore, in drawing closer to Him we will continue to experience more pain (worse to come) and more joy (better to come). A long winded answer to be sure, but one that I think you will find sufficient.

Your second objection makes me doubt that you are taking any of the letter seriously. I do not jest, if you intend to make me believe that you are willing to go after the Lord you must at least phrase these things better. “Surely we are not enduring anything when we cling to Christ, but it is He that endures?” You seem to be stumbling back as your insecurities are exposed brother. Regardless, I will respond. I am willing to believe that I am simply misunderstanding your sentiments. When you stub your toe on a door would you say that you are experiencing some physical pain? Yes, of course. If your girlfriend leaves you (assuming that you love her dearly) for another man would you say that your heart aches? Yes, if you have sense. Why then would you doubt that it is you enduring trials on the spiritual journey? Christ does not wear you like a suit, that is far too easy. That requires too little of sacrifice on our parts. No, we are blessed to consult Him in every instance. He wishes to enter into our lives with us. You seem to think that my initial statement implies that we are enduring of our own power. It is more like we cling to Him as he ascends a mountain. We must choose to cling to Him. The wind will still batter our backs and the cold may cut at our skin, but we are clinging to the only One who can ascend the mountain of His own power.

Now, before you pick apart my metaphors read this. And when I say read it I mean let this soak in.

None of this matters if you do not invest in a personal relationship with Jesus.

None of it. You can read all the books in the world, but if you do not spend time in prayer with the Lord it is for naught. All of these questions will be answered as you come to know Him more. You must first allow yourself to be totally bare before the One that has already been so before the world. He is gentle and will receive you well. Do not be so prideful to think that the things that make you ugly are new strains. There is nothing new under the sun brother, not even your sin. Please brother, seek Him.

In your next response I want to hear about your relationship with Jesus. One paragraph is all I ask. I eagerly await your response.

-Your brother in Christ

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