The Balm We Need

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.

A balm, a salve, a healing and soothing ointment.  It seems that in these days of economic and moral distress, we all are seeking something not to just take away the pain, but that will also  bring healing as well.  No matter what side of the political aisle  we find ourselves, all of us have “fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  In that shortfall is the source of our pain, our grief, and our sorrow.  It makes sense that our separation from the Author of all Joy only results in emptiness.

Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.

I love this spiritual because it gets right down to brass tacks – I hurt, I am depressed, and I am not getting anywhere.  And we all feel that way at times.  But then, it reminds us that in the Holy Spirit, we are revived.  Given that this is a spiritual that grew out of the agony of slavery, we can see that this simple trust in Jesus takes away even the deepest of sorrow.  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

If you can’t preach like Peter,
If you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.

Of course, our faith is not just about us.  We are also to bring this balm to others.  Not all of us can preach, nor teach, nor lead thousands in prayer with elegant words.  But, we can share the love of Christ with those around us – through our actions and words.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

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