Judges 11 and 12 are a wild ride, not least because they introduce us to Jephthah the Gileadite: owner of one of the Old Testament’s more colorful biographies, and whose Biblical story is a roller coaster of ecstatic highs and miserable lows.
That’s how I opened a staff meeting at my church some months ago. Everyone got nervous. Some smiled and laughed anxiously awaiting my next move. Others began shifting their weight in the chair. And still another simply sat quietly and uncomfortably in their seat. Finally, I broke the awkward silence and asked, “how does that word make you feel?” Conversation gladly resumed as we discussed our experience of that word.
I knew Lost in Atlantis would merit from a few skilled beta readers, but you can’t just hand a manuscript off to anyone.
From the research I’ve done, you need to be intentional about who you choose in order for the narrative to benefit in a way that underscores anything from minor misgivings to major plot gaps, revealing what works and what doesn’t along the way.
Souls but little confirmed in piety, advance well and happily, when the Lord gives them consolations in prayer. But if He afterwards deprives them of these, they immediately become languid and discontented, like children who thank their mother when she gives them sweet things, and cry when she takes them away, because they are children, and do not know that a long course of such things is hurtful to them, and causes worms. Sensible consolations of the soul often produce the worm of self-satisfaction and that of pride, which is the poison of the soul, and corrupts every good work.