The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
In This World You Will Have Trouble

The Princess Bride is one of the greatest movies ever made.  Seriously.

In the movie, at one point, the Dread Pirate Roberts say, “Life is pain, Highness, and anyone who says differently is selling something.”

Wow.  Talk about cynical, and fatalistic - and totally true.

As Christians, I think we might be tempted to look at that statement – life is pain – and dismiss it as the angry ranting of a hopeless man.  Except, it turns out, Jesus seems to agree.

In John 16:33, Jesus says something incredibly shocking, something that turns “religion” upside down:

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In other words, Jesus is saying that your life – and mine – is going to involve pain, difficulty, and hardship.  But that there is a greater reality than that.  That our pain is not the last word in our lives.

If you look at the self-help section at your bookstore, or the religion section, what you almost always find is the claim: “do these things, and your life will be easy.“ They are, in a literal sense, selling something.

Sometimes, you find a more honest claim…”Do these things, and the pain won’t be able to get to you anymore.”  It’s more realistic, but they’re still selling something, it just happens to be numbness.

But Jesus makes this audacious claim that pain will be a part of our lives, and we don’t have to hide from it, try to bribe it, or numb ourselves against it.  That he is bigger than the pain.

In Romans 8:18, the Apostle Paul says that God wants to make a bet with you:

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Paul is saying, when you see what God makes out of your life – the painful parts included – you’ll never regret the difficulties.  You’ll know that it was worth it.

That’s an amazing boast.  It seems cavalier, arrogant, even foolish.  But Paul knew what he was talking about.  He suffered in ways most of us never will, and he knew his bet was solid.  He had seen God be bigger than the pain.

God wants to show you that in your own life.  That you don’t have to hide from difficulty, run away from it, or numb yourself.  If you’ll hold his hand in the midst of the hard times, and keep on walking, he’ll lead you to a place so beautiful that the pain will be ashamed of itself for ever trying to have kept you down.  You will see, with your own eyes, that though you had trouble, Jesus was always bigger.

If I Had Been There, Things Would Be Different

I think it’s part of the natural response to hearing about injustice to wish you could have been there, to wish you could have done something to stop it.  To think, “If I had been there, things would be different.”

We all feel that way.  A desire to make the wrong things right, to stand up to that injustice.  Former President George Bush once listened to a report about the genocide in Rwanda, and wrote in his notes, “Not on my watch.”

But the thing about tragedies is, it seems we’re never around for them.  We only hear about them after the fact, in news reports and tumblr posts and Sunday sermons.  And no matter how much we wish we could go back in time and wrestle the weapon from a murderer’s hands, we can’t.  Because time doesn’t work that way.

And, so, again and again, we’re powerless, wishing we had been there. That we could have done something.

But the truth is, there are injustices going on – right in front of you – all the time.  You just have to learn to see them. It’s a crazy thing, but, whatever strikes you as commonplace also strikes you, on some level, as OK.  That’s true for all of us, and it’s how injustice devolves into tragedy.

You know the kid at school that everyone either ignores or calls names?  That is a terrible injustice.  And you are there.  Do something about it.  Make it different.  Stand up for him.  Stand with him.  Be an advocate for him.  Be a friend to him.  Stand.

You know the families in your town that put their children to bed hungry at night? Trust me, there are many of them.  And that is a terrible injustice.  So act.  Go volunteer at the local food pantry.  Convince your youth group to throw a car wash and give the money to those in need.  Talk to your pastor about hosting a community dinner at your church every month.  You are there, and something tragic is happening.  Wrestle that injustice to the ground.

This is your moment.  Everyone wants to have a moment, to stand tall, a man apart, and act, and make the wrong things right.  This is that moment for you.  I know this, because, in fact, that moment comes for each person, every day. 

So stand, beloved.  Stand and act.  You can’t change the terrible things that have occurred in human history.  But you can change what happens today.  You can change what happens in a way that will echo for all eternity.  You can change this world.  You are here; make it different.

When People Ask, “Where Is God?”, Be The Answer.

Today, there are people – including people you know, in your normal life – who are saying to God, “Where are you?  Are you ignoring me?  Why won’t you come through for me?”

They mumble these words under their breath, with teeth clenched.  They feel like giving up.

And, today, you can be the answer to their prayers.  When they wonder, “God, where are you?”, you can be God’s answer.

Find that person in your life.  The one who’s hurting.  Maybe their folks are getting divorced.  Or maybe they are.  Maybe their Mom is sick.  Or maybe they are.  Maybe their Dad is getting laid off.  Or maybe they are.

Either way, call them up, and say the Holiest thing ever uttered: “Hey, my friend, can I buy you a cup of coffee?”

Go to the Starbucks or the Caribou or whatever, pony up the dough for a double mocha latte caramel Frappucino soy Americano (or whatever), and then sit down with them and ask, “How are you doing?”

Let them talk.  Listen.  Ask questions.  Listen some more.  Let them cry.  Pass them the tissues.  Listen some more.  Ask more questions.  Keep listening.

And, then, when they’re all talked out, say these words.  “I’m so sorry stuff is tough right now.  But I love you, and I believe in you.  Now stand up and give me a great big hug and let’s pray for this situation.”

Tonight, when your friend goes to bed, they will have an answer to the question, “God, where are you?”

Because God was there.  In the coffeeshop.  In that conversation.  Between the tears and the anger and the exhaustion and the discouragement and the despair.  He was there.  In that moment, where their friend bought them a drink and just listened, the almighty God of the Universe…He was there.

Jesus said, “Where two or more gather in my name, there I am among them.”

Be that answer.  You have a friend that’s hurting, wondering where God is.  Go pick up the phone, and answer that question.

My Mom Is Sick And I Feel Like God Has Abandoned Me

Anonymous asked:
Hi Jed I love your blog! I’ll get straight into it. I’m struggling with a love/hate feeling towards God. My mum has been diagnosed with a brain tumour and is having surgery next week & I’m honestly feeling very angry with Him. I don’t understand why He would do this. I prayed and basically begged that she be ok but now it’s grown and she has to have brain surgery. I feel like He abandoned me when I cried for help and I’m worried He will do it again and she won’t survive. Help please..

Jed Brewer replied:

My friend,

I am so sorry.  I’m so sorry for your pain.  I’m so sorry that your Mom is going through this.  And I’m so sorry for the sense of abandonment that you are very understandably feeling.

If we lived near you, my wife and I would love nothing more than to just give you a great big hug and sit and cry with you and bring over a casserole.

The truth is, I can’t tell you why God allows terrible things to happen.  As a friend says, I don’t get invited to those meetings.  I can tell you about how God brings – when we let him – the best of things out of the worst of things.  I can tell you that God uses our lowest points to shape us into the people we were always meant to be.  But I can’t tell you why he uses suffering, and not something else.

But I can tell you that Jesus went first.  And he understands.  He knows what it is to have a loved one be sick.  And he knows what it is to have a loved one die.  And he knows what it is to cry bitter tears about it.  (You can read the story in John 11.)

For me, I take comfort in knowing that Jesus chose to go through what I have to go through, because he loves me.  And Jesus experienced something awesome – anger.  When Jesus saw his friends weeping, he felt anger.  I think he was angry at all the suffering and pain and misery in this world.  He was angry, and then he cried.

I love the fact that Jesus got angry.  Because this world makes me angry, too.  It’s terrible suffering and hateful indifference are wicked things.  And my savior got angry, and then he made it right. 

Jesus is in the process of making the wrong things right.  All of them.  Every terrible thing that has ever happened, he is, even now, in the process of making it right again.  I don’t know how.  And I know I’ll only see the full picture in eternity, but I know my savior is making it right.  I know he’s preparing a place for me where there’s no more suffering or pain, where he himself wipes every tear from my eye.  (Revelation 21:4)

This brings us back to you.  God has not abandoned you, my friend.  But it certainly feels like he has.  And He gets that.  He understands how you feel.  And he cries with you; I promise. 

So what do you do?  I tell you what I’d do.  I’d pour my heart out to him.  I’d vent all my anger and frustration out to him.  I’d yell and scream till I was hoarse and then I’d cry.  And then, when I had nothing left to say, I’d be still, and let my Father whisper to me, “I understand.  I love you, I understand, and this, too, I am going to make right.”

Love Is Worth It

princessaguzie asked you:
Hey Jed. I have a question that’s been brewing in my mind for a minute. I know God is all-powerful and He knows the beginning to the end. I’m guessing He knew that Eve would bite that apple and sin would come into the world..right? If He knew sin was coming, why did he create man? Why didn’t He just have that nevermind phase. If Eve never bit the apple, Jesus wouldn’t have died, people wouldn’t be in hell and suffering wouldn’t exist. If all of this could have been avoided, why didnt He stop it?

Jed Brewer replied:

So, you might have seen on my twitter feed recently that I was driving around blaring some old school Garth Brooks.  (I have to feed my inner redneck now and then.)  And there’s a great song by brother Garth that goes like this:

“I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance.”

What he’s pointing to is that, at the end of the day, Love Is Worth It.

The day I married my wife, I signed up for a lifetime of arguments, miscommunications, and compromises – because all human relationships contain those.  And, I signed up for the fact that, one day, I will lose her, or she will lose me.  But I gladly signed up anyway because Love Is Worth It.  When I’m with my wife, just the two of us together, with my arms around her, it’s the greatest thing in the world.  There’s nothing I wouldn’t deal with in order to have that.  It’s worth it.

And so it is with God and man.  Yes, when God created man and gave him free will, you’re right, in his omniscience, he had to know all of the evil crap that would happen.  But He knew something else, too: Love Is Worth It.

You can’t have love without free will.  It just doesn’t exist.  But the same free will that can allow you to act like a jerk and ruin somebody’s day can also allow you to choose God and his presence in your life.  And when you start to let God into your heart and you start to be transformed by that, it’s the most beautiful thing that has ever existed, and there’s an impossible Love that exists there and It Is Worth It.

And, of course, God knew one other thing.  He knew that, at the end of everything, he would wipe the tears from our eyes.  He would do what only he can, which is to make everything sad come untrue.  He would make all the wrong and evil and terribleness as though it never was.  As it turns out, God can heal anything, God can fix anything, God can make anything truly new.  But he will not force that on us, because that isn’t love.  Love is chosen.  And Love, sis – God’s incredible Love – Is Worth It.

“I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, “Now God makes his home with people. He will live with them. They will be his people. And God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sadness. There will be no more crying or pain. Things are no longer the way they used to be.” He who was sitting on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” “ (Revelation 21:3-5, NIRV)

I’m Just Coming Back To Faith, And Now I Feel Like I Have To Fix Everything

Anonymous asked:
I wonder if you have advice for a Christian who’s stumbled bad. Years ago I lost a dear friend in an accident which set up events which broke my then relationship and left me in a new city alone. Angry, I rejected God, moved in with a new atheist GF who I love, bought a house and got engaged. Then 1year ago after soul searching I returned to my faith. My problem is that I’m told that my new life is not Godly and I need to change it which has left me lost, anxious and confused. What am I to do?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey my friend,

First, before anything else, I’m so sorry for your loss.  That’s a terrible tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend’s family.

Second, everything you’re describing makes perfect sense.  Unfortunately, I’ve had very close friends pass away unexpectedly, and it sucks.  It’s disorienting.  It’s confusing.  It’s painful and saddening and enraging and numbing all at the same time.  And it totally clicks that, in the midst of that, we could make decisions that might not have been the best.

And, of course, it makes sense, too, that God has kept pursuing you in the midst of everything.  He has that tendency, since He loves you a whole lot.

The thing that doesn’t quite make sense to me is where you say “I’m told that my new life is not Godly and I need to change it.”  Says who?

I don’t know a lot of the details here, anon, but to hold up a mirror to what you’ve told me, you had a tragedy in your life, experienced a bunch of hard changes in the wake of that, got pissed with God, and built a life for yourself apart from Him – or, apart from religion, at the very least.  Well, dang, if I were in your shoes, there’s good odds I would’ve done the same thing!

Just guessing, but what I think might be going on here is that you know some church people who are telling you that you shouldn’t be living with somebody you’re not married to, and that you shouldn’t marry an atheist, and so your life is boned and now you must fix it.  But I’d like to suggest something else.

I think you should spend some time just hanging out with God, and getting to know each other better.  It sounds like you have a lot of stuff to talk about together and, if you can dig it, a lot of that needs to happen before it’s time to start making big life changes. 

Yes, sex outside of marriage is not God’s plan, and, no, a Christian marrying a non-Christian is not a good idea.  Also, there’s an order to the changes that need to take place in our lives, and that order needs to be something we get from The Lord.  (Also, if you develop a really cool, vibrant relationship with God, there’s the distinct possibility that your atheist girlfriend may turn out to not be nearly as atheist as she thinks.  Just saying.)

God’s a patient dude.  He’s been pursuing you a long time, and he’s not about to give up.  There will come a point when he’ll want the two of you to take a look at your romantic relationship and how he feels about it.  Is that point today?  I really doubt it.

The best way to approach this, my friend, is to find an older Christian mentor – who doesn’t have a stick up their butt – and have them be an advisor and sounding board for you.  Find somebody who’s working with homeless folks, or inmates, or drug addicts.  Tell them your story, and ask them to keep you lifted up in prayer. Spend some time getting to know God better, and talk through that process with your mentor.  If you do that, the next steps – and their timing – will become a lot clearer.

My Friend Hates God! What Do I Do?!!

alwaysbeinfinite asked you:
my friend lost his mom about 11 years ago, and he still blames God. I just don’t know what to tell him. He refuses God because he believes that God took his mother so therefore God is evil.I can’t enforce that, that just isn’t the truthbecause he won’t believe me. I want to tell him how God feels, but I dont want to say something to cause him to stray even farther away.What do i do?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Natalie,

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?  You know the answer to what’s hurting somebody, and, dang it, if they’d just listen everything would be ok, and they’d be happy – and saved – and why can’t I find the magic words?  I’ve felt that way plenty of times.

Here’s something it took me a long time to learn: there are no magic words.  There just aren’t.  There does not exist a magical phrase that will force your friend to think differently.  You can, of course, try to talk him in to something, but that means somebody else can come along and talk him out of it.

So, here’s what I’m suggesting: don’t try to talk him into anything.  At all.

Instead, make up your mind to be a safe place for your friend to share his hurt, and grief, and let down.  It sounds like he’s got a lot of it.  He says God is evil.  Fine.  You say, “Bro, I totally hear you.  It makes perfect sense that you would feel that way.  And I’m so terribly sorry for your pain.  Tell me more.”

Most people aren’t ready for something new until they’ve gotten a certain amount of pain off of their chest.  If you want to help your friend – and I know you do – help him by being willing to simply hear him out, as many times as it takes.

I Keep Hitting Closed Doors. What Do I Do?

jhenna asked you:
Hi Jed, I am 27 and have been trying to finish my bachelor’s degree since I finished high school 10 years ago. Life has pulled me in many different directions causing me to have to start and stop more times than I can count. I was saved about a year ago (such an amazing thing!) and am struggling again with a roadblock to finishing school. Is this God’s way of telling me school is not in His plan for me? Or is it a test? How do I know? I feel so lost at times but I just keep praying. – Jenna

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Jenna,

I can totally relate to what you’re describing.  You’re trying to do something good – I mean, it’s a really positive thing to have a college degree – and everything just sets itself up to oppose you.  And it really does make you wonder: God, are you trying to give me a hint here?

It’s a frustrating, confusing place to be, and I’m sorry that’s where you’re at.

I think one of the things that confuses us in these kind of situations is that people have told us to look for “open doors”.  When everything lines up, that’s a sure sign that God’s directing us in a certain way.  That’s what they told me, anyway.

And that logic makes sense, I guess, but it doesn’t line up with scripture.  Paul was 100% called by God – in the most literal sense – to preach the Gospel.  And here’s a quick overview of the kind of “open doors” that met him in that work:

“Five times I received…the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.  I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27, NIV)

Wow.  That is hardcore. 

Now, I don’t mention that to discourage you – I highly doubt that a public flogging is in your future.  But I do mention it to say that, if we’re gonna follow the Lord, the “looking for open doors” approach ain’t gonna work.  We need something else.

The something else is this: we want to get a sense of mission from God, and commit to doing whatever that mission requires.

So, how do we get a sense of mission?  The best way is to get in the motion of serving people.  Right now, today.  Start asking the Lord for a burden, for a heart that breaks for people going through a rough time.  And go find opportunities to serve them.  Then, talk through these experiences with God and your pastor.

It may take a minute, but, out of this, I bet you’ll begin to develop a sense of calling and purpose for your life.  I bet you’ll begin to feel a mission welling up within you.

Well, when that happens, it’s time to figure out what the mission requires.  Maybe we need a college degree; maybe we don’t.  If we need it, we find a way to get one, and we don’t take “no” for an answer.  There are a lot of ways to go to college in the world today.  If you keep pounding on doors, one of them will budge eventually.

But that sense of mission needs to come first.  Otherwise, it’s dang near impossible to keep going in the face of trouble and adversity.  And that makes sense: No one’s willing to suffer for no reason.

I’d start getting in the motion of serving others and seeking that sense of mission in your life.  And as you and the Lord develop that, I think the next steps will become clear.

Is God To Blame When Bad Things Happen?

jasminelovesjesus asked you:
When things go wrong in life, like when we face problems, is God to blame for? Is God the cause for the bad situations that happens? I always thought that God isn’t to blame for the death of a family member or the loss of a job and etc. but He does intervene and uses our tribulation for our good and pushes us into a new good direction.

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Jasmine,

You know, usually, when folks are asking if God’s to blame for problems, that question has come up because they’re dealing with some really tough stuff in their lives.  And, if that’s true for you, I’m sorry for it.  Let me know how my wife and I can be praying for you.

You asked if God is to blame when bad things happen.  Well, I suppose that really depends on your definition of “blame”.  The fact is that God could have stopped whatever the thing was, and He didn’t. 

Some people would look at that and say that God is to blame, that his decision to be inactive makes him guilty.  Others would say that God didn’t owe intervention to anyone involved, so, we get what we get, and we have no right to complain.

Both of those views, though, miss the point.  And the point is that, in everything, there is more going on than what we can see, and more than we can fully comprehend.

When I was about five years old, my Mom took my to get my vaccines so I could start school.  And getting a great big needle jabbed in my arm hurt like all get out.  It’s funny to say it, but I can still remember the shock of that moment - that this was a pain unlike anything I had ever experienced. 

Now, you and I can say two things about that situation.  First, my Mom had me get my shots because she loved me.  It needed to happen, and was for my good.  Second, that is slim comfort to a little child who’s mother just allowed a stranger to stab him.

It’s slim comfort because, (a) my arm still hurts, regardless of the reasons, and (b) the idea that there are these tiny creatures so small I can’t even see them and that I have to be protected from them lest I die, and that this terrible man in a white coat is a Doctor who is specially trained in keeping the nasty creatures at bay is beyond the scope of what a 5 year old child really understands.  You might as well have told me, “Mom moves in mysterious ways.”

The thing about suffering is that it only finds its meaning in what comes out of it.  If my shots hadn’t kept me from tetanus and the measles, then that would have been an unbelievably cruel experience.  But, of course, I have lived a measle-free existence, and I am very grateful.

The promise we have as Christians is that God will bring something amazing out of every hard thing we experience.  I bet you know this verse:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)

When I was five and got my shots, I cried my eyes out, and I told my Mom that it hurt really bad.  And that is the exact right response.  If you’re going through a rough time, be honest with God.  Cry your eyes out, and tell him that it really hurts.  Don’t hold back on this – let it all out.

And when you’re all cried out, remember that God is with you, that he loves you, and that even this terrible thing is being woven in the tapestry of your good.  And, of course, that knowledge doesn’t make it “all better.”  The pain is still painful.  But it does mean that the pain doesn’t have the last word.  It means that there will come a point – which may be way, way down the road - where we can agree with the Apostle Paul that our troubles were “light and momentary” compared to the amazing good that God has brought out of them.  (2 Cor 4:17)

Stand strong, sis.  The best is yet to come.

How Do I Move Past A Terrible Period In My Life?

hisharilyn asked:
lately I’ve been going through some hard things, really, really difficult things in life. And it sucks, a lot. But through this, I’ve grown closer to God and gotten back into church, started making new, better friends. But still find myself constantly thinking about those really difficult things almost every minute of my day. I want to focus on God and his plan for me, not only to keep me distracted from thinking about these things, but because i know that Gods plans for me are beneficial to me and for his kingdom. How would you recommend i fall more and more in love with Jesus. I just want to be on fire for Him, if you know what i mean. i know its kind of a vague question, but anything helps :)

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Shery,

Thanks for your question.

Sometimes, spiritual growth can work like a rubber band.  If you put one end of a rubber band around your finger, and pull on the other end, the rubber band will stretch, to a point.  And then it won’t go any farther.

In our spiritual lives, when there’s something in our past that needs addressing, it can work like the end of the rubber band that’s around our finger.  We can stretch forward to a point, but then we stop.  There just isn’t more give left.

I mention all that to say that I’m guessing the issue for you isn’t one of falling more in love with Jesus.  I bet you love Jesus a lot.  I’m guessing that what’s causing problems is that we need to fully address those “really difficult things” in your life.

Grief, trauma, and fear, when they go unaddressed for a long period of time, tend to lead to depression, constant low-level anxiety, and emotional numbness.  Well, that’s not a good way to go.  So, how do we avoid that?

The first thing we need, when we’re going through a rough time, is a safe place to vent about it.  And, as a Christian, you’ll want to have that safe place with both some older Christians, and in your prayer life.  If you haven’t before, now would be the perfect time to start getting really honest, and really raw with God.  Don’t hold stuff back, don’t couch things, don’t say what you think he wants to hear.  Tell him the ugly truth of your emotional reality.  If you’re feeling squeamish about that, go read Psalms 13 and 22.  And then sit down with God and do what David did: keep it real.  Tell God in intricate detail how you feel about what’s happened in your life, what you hate about it, who you’re mad at, who you want God to smite, and so forth.  Pour your heart out to God, and keep pouring until you’re tapped out. 

The second thing we need is to ask this question: what am I afraid to look at?  Rough times in our lives can provoke hard questions inside of us.  And, often, we’re afraid to ask those questions and hear the answer.  What kind of questions am I talking about?  I’ll give you a few examples…

“Does God really love me?” 

“Is God really a good person?” 

“Am I damaged goods?” 

“Are there still good things in my future?” 

“Do my family/friends truly care about me?” 

“Is there something wrong with me?”

If you’re wondering about one of those questions – or any other really hard question – but you’re feeling afraid to look it full in the face and hear the answer, you’re going to find it dang near impossible to find real peace.  Because, deep inside, the question is driving you crazy.

The solution is to ask God for courage, brace yourself, and get with a Pastor and ask the question.  My job involves counseling people with unbelievably hard life situations, and I promise that the answer to the hard question is always something you can live through.  It will not kill you, and on the other side is peace. 

The final thing to look at – and, this comes only after steps 1 and 2 – is forgiveness.  And let’s be honest about forgiveness for a second.  That’s something that Christians talk a whole lot about, but almost never practice.  Real forgiveness requires working things out between you and God, being honest about your feelings, and asking the tough questions.  It’s only when we’ve surveyed the full impact of what has occurred, and the damage it’s done in our life, that we’re able to relinquish our claim on that wound and allow God to have it. 

By contrast, when Christians talk about forgiveness – generally – what they mean is “pretending that something bad didn’t happen.”  It sounds a little bit like that’s what you’re trying right now, and, as you’re seeing, that doesn’t work.

Sis, I don’t doubt that you love Jesus.  And you will learn to love him more.  But, right now, I’d take a look at if the challenge before you isn’t one of confronting your past full-on.  I think it is.

If you have more questions on any of this, hit my ask box.  Stay strong, sis.  The best is yet to come.