“Is there no balm in Gilead?  Is there no physician there? When then is there healing for the wounds of the people?” (Jeremiah8:22).

Lip balm! Dry, chapped, cracked lips. Lip balm consists of beeswax flavored with dyes, fragrance and sunscreens and offers a protective wax-like covering for the thin skin of the lips.  It’s a healer and comforter.  I have seen so many varieties of lip balm. 

Long ago, back in Bible times, there was a balm also, originating from the balsam tree and used for medicinal rather than cosmetic purposes. Jeremiah laments—the balm is here, but no uses it. Everyone has forgotten it, blinded by the depths of sin and shame, having turned away from God. Hello, a doctor is in the house, and we are not using Him.  He has a simple, medicinal herb, no cosmetic, but the “real stuff”. No contrived, genetic mutation, either, but the real balm in Gilead, the healing type.

  When we depart from God, our spiritual lips become dry and chapped. We no longer remember that there is a balm that can soothe.  As we look into our daily mirrors, we are most concerned about the looks of our faces as we apply the ointments on our dresser.   I am wont to think that the Christian life is the same; we are daily applying ointments, deodorants, perfumes, moisturizers and lotions to protect and cleanse and to tease out the impurities.   

We are the healing ointment brought to a sin-sick world; our aromatic fragrance can go a long way to healing.  Is there then no balm in Gilead?  When others become depressed and discouraged, is there no balm in Gilead? When some would depart on another path, is there no warning balm in Gilead? When you step out on your new venture, is there not a balm in Gilead?  You bet there is, but the crowded daily dockets may well obscure. 

I am persuaded that each of us is part of that balm of Gilead, brought into the world to be a witness, to deliver that sweet perfume.  We can pour soothing oil into wounds or cast salt within; we can exude happiness or mirror despondency.  We come to a wounded world that looks for physicians who can heal the soul.  The Great Physician is here, and we are the orderlies, the nurses and the doctors delivering up the balm, from the deep storehouse of His balmy grace.  We have donned the robes of fragrance and beauty.   Is there then no balm in Gilead? Is there no balm where you now are? Might you not be that balm who can touch the wound of some soul today?  Let us echo that song then, There is a Balm



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