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Aug 29

Good morning, Lord.
Thank you for the nice visit with my son yesterday, and please help him on his first days back to classes. Please bring people into his life to encourage him and give him feedback. Help him enjoy some of his learning, even the political science. Restore him in your favor, Lord, and guide him in your will for his life. Amen!

Job 8:11-22 ERV

“Can papyrus grow tall on a dry land? Can reeds grow without water?
No, they will dry up before harvest. They will be too small to cut and use.
People who forget God are like that. Those who oppose him have no hope.
They have put their trust in something weak. It is like a spider’s web.
When they lean against it, it will break. When they reach out for it, it will not hold them up.
Such people are like a vine that gets plenty of water and sunshine, and its branches spread throughout the garden.
Its roots spread among the rocks, searching for good soil.
But if you move it, it will die, and no one can tell it was ever there.
Everything might have been going well, but another vine will take its place.
God does not support evil people, and he does not abandon the innocent.
So perhaps you might laugh again. Maybe shouts of joy will come from your lips.

Maybe your enemies will be humiliated and the homes of the wicked destroyed.”

Psalm 94:10-19, 22 ERV

The one who disciplines nations will surely correct you. He is the one who teaches us everything.
The LORD knows what people are thinking. He knows that their thoughts are like a puff of wind.
LORD, great blessings belong to those you discipline, to those you teach from your law.
You help them stay calm when trouble comes. You will help them until the wicked are put in their graves.
The LORD will not leave his people. He will not leave them without help.
Justice will return and bring fairness. And those who want to do right will be there to see it.
No one helped me fight against the wicked. No one stood with me against those who do evil.
And if the LORD had not helped me, I would have been silenced by death.
I know I was ready to fall, but, LORD, your faithful love supported me.
I was very worried and upset, but you comforted me and made me happy!
But the LORD is my place of safety, high on the mountain. God, my Rock, is my safe place!

I feel as if the last verses from Psalms here is for someone else, so I won’t try to analyze it. I do find it somewhat perplexing that the vast majority of troubles mentioned in Psalms and elsewhere seem to be coming from other people, always talking about “my enemy” and punishing the wicked. Yet I have little of that experience, or at least of that outlook. Even when I was horribly abused as a child, I do not see those people as my enemies, and I don’t desire for them to be punished. What does that solve? I would like to see them come to know God, but if they do not, then punishment will do them very little good, and their punishment will not do me any good at all. No, my troubles tend to come from within — struggling against my own mind and its limitations. I only WISH it were as “simple” as having the enemy attack from outside of me…!


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