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Buttercup: We’ll never survive.
Westley: Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.
This was Buttercup’s response when with Prince Humperdink and his men catching up behind and the fire swamp the only way in front of them, Westley suggested they forge ahead through the dark, foreboding woods.
You know how when you’re scared it helps to have someone with you who actually makes fun of the situation or who doesn’t seem frightened in the least?  That’s how Westley was for Buttercup.  He led her in by the hand with confidence, thinking no one would follow them through the swamp so they were surely going to find freedom and the chance to be together on the other side.
After her gown caught on fire from bursts of flame shooting up out of the ground and almost “drowning” in a deep quicksand pit, Buttercup became a bit frazzled.

[after Westley rescues her from the lightning quicksand]
Buttercup: We’ll never succeed. We may as well die here.
Westley: No, no. We have already succeeded. I mean, what are the three terrors of the Fire Swamp? One, the flame spurt – no problem. There’s a popping sound preceding each; we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that too.
Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.’s?
Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.
[Immediately, an R.O.U.S. attacks him]

A good friend of mine and I were chatting on facebook last night and wondering together why life seems to be so difficult so much of the time.  At least we have Jesus who never leaves us alone, who guides us through even the hardest spots.  He knows and let us in on the tricks of the enemy:  stealing, killing and destroying.  Now that we’re onto him, we have some idea of how to spot him before he can do us much damage.  “Listen for the popping sounds,” my friend said last night.  It’s true I’ve begun recognizing the muck of self-pity before it entraps me like it used to, I’ve had enough experience fighting off FOUS’s (fears of unusual size) with faith so that they don’t make me shudder like before.  Sure it’s treacherous at times in this life, sometimes the fiery blasts singe me a bit but they don’t consume me.

To all my friends out there who are afraid or doubtful, who are having a hard time seeing the freedom waiting on the other side or feel skeptical, hold Jesus’ hand.  He’s definitely not afraid.  He knows the way.  Can we survive the fire swamp?  Oh yeah.  If we’re walking with Jesus, we already have.

(Quotes from the 1987 movie “The Princess Bride”.  If you haven’t seen it, rent it and watch it many times.)