For millennia, Scientist and Charlatans have offered us remedies for every human ailment-from leeches and bloodletting to present day miracle drugs.Medicine shows were common in the United States in the nineteenth century, especially in the Old West. “Dr So and So” usually sold patent medicines or “miracle elixirs” sometimes referred to as snake oil, which, it was claimed, had the ability to cure any disease, smooth wrinkles, remove stains, prolong life or cure any number of common ailments. Alcohol, opium, and cocaine were typical ingredients. It is easy to understand why people, with no other resources, often fell for this hype.
Every day I see commercials touting the benefits of one drug or another. Possible side effects are always included-headaches, sore toe, blurred vision, etc., and, “Oh yes! You might die.”
By the time My Mom came to live with me, at the age of eighty-seven, she possessed a plethora of medications that were “absolutely essential” to her continued health. Each morning I placed her pills beside her breakfast plate. She hated those pills!
While she finished eating, I occupied myself cleaning up the kitchen reminding her repeatedly to take her medication. Coming back to the table, I asked, “Did you take your pills?”
“Yes,” she always replied.
Each night, after I helped her prepare for bed, we prayed together.
One night, she said to me, “I am so miserable. I lied to you this morning.” I told you I took all my pills, but I didn’t take those “nasty little Lasix.”
Those “nasty little Lasix” kept her running to the potty all day long. She figured whatever benefit she was receiving from the medication wasn’t worth the hassle.
I consider myself to be reasonably healthy. However, I do have an issue with arthritis, and there is the pacemaker, which must be checked bi-monthly because I am totally dependent upon it. My heart goes into A fib time to time, and so on… My pantry looks like a pharmacy. Morning and evening I have a fist full of pills to swallow. I don’t really mind that so much, but something does concern me. How do multiple pills designed to do multiple tasks find their way to the proper place once they slide down my throat? For example: How does that little yellow rectangle find its way to my thyroid, and how does the white football arrive at the seat of my cholesterol problem?
I am a woman of faith, but I must admit that I have very little faith in the ability of these little pieces of colored chalk to take care of my health issues. Yet, I follow the doctor’s directions without fail. I dare not do otherwise.
Fact is, there is no human produced cure-all for our physical needs. You know that! Sometimes medicine works and sometimes it doesn‘t. Risk always accompanies any medical procedure.
A certain “Balm of Gilead” is mentioned three times in the Bible as an example of something with healing or soothing powers. This rare, high-quality ointment, used medicinally, was produced in Israel, in the region of Gilead, east of the Jordan River. Some botanical scholars have concluded that the actual source was a Terebinth tree.
Many medical properties have been attributed to this highly sought after ointment. As a result, “Balm in Gilead” has come to signify a universal cure in figurative speech. No wonder it was the most costly product of Palestine.
In Jeremiah 8:22, the prophet mourns for the spiritual condition of the people of Judah.
“Is there no Balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?”
Jeremiah is saying, “Why doesn’t a doctor come with this healing ointment and bind up the wounds of my people?”
While it is true that there is no cure-all for our physical needs, there is a sure cure for our spiritual wounds.
Just as that fragrant balm drips freely, of its own accord, from the Terebinth, so also does the ointment of God’s grace flow freely from Calvary’s cross.
Jesus, our “great physician,” applies the balm of His grace to our wounded heart and troubled mind and ravished body bringing healing from the inside out.
“There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.”
If you are suffering today, open your heart to Jesus, Your Great Physician, and allow Him to apply his healing grace to your life.
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!