My Pastor, Tim Keller told a story once about a problem that some modern day shepherds were experiencing. A rare kind of parasite started eating their sheep alive. In order to protect them, the shepherds had to dunk the sheep in a tub full of disinfectant.
When they pushed the sheep under, the shepherds saw the looks of terror on their faces. As far as the sheep knew, they were being forced into a slow, frightening death by drowning. Even after they emerged from the tub, they still didn't have a full understanding of what had happened or why. But without the shepherd to dunk them in the tub, they would've died a death far more painful than drowning. The shepherd was saving their lives, making them stronger- but they had no way of knowing.
She also wrote Here's to Hindsight and Orange Jumpsuit, and you won't find a bad read in the bunch.
Love and hold your breath,
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