A mini-series of devotions written based on the biblical name Gilead. Click here to read her other posts.
“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician here?” Jeremiah 8:22
The oils from the balsam trees of Gilead, a region of Israel, were prized, healing oils. When the tree was wounded, the healing oils seeped through and were collected to make soothing salves. But there’s much more to this process if someone is to derive benefit from them.
God provided the healing oils, but someone had to be there to harvest them and to put them in vessels so they could be carried to those in need. And then someone had to carry those vessels to the hurting people. This was the way God designed it to be.
If you have chosen to live God’s way and you are committed to him, then you are a balm-bearer. You are the vessel, God’s chosen vessel, to speak healing words, to lend a soothing hand, or to give a message of hope to someone who’s hurting.
Jesus told a story about dividing the sheep from the goats. When the sheep asked, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
So, what’s on your calendar today? Does your to-do list include a bit of balm-bearing? Are you prepared when someone near you is looking for comfort? Do you have a cup of water or a shoulder or a time to pray? When you’re moving around you today, you may be bumping up against angry, hateful, bitter people. Will you see them as bad people or broken people? Will you see them as Jesus did? As people worthy of the balm of Gilead?
Prayer: Father, let me see others as you see them today. Give me the balm I need to offer someone in your name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Phyllis Clark Nichols grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in Georgia and weaves her Southern culture into character-driven stories that explore profound human questions. She is a classically trained musician and enjoys art, books, nature, cooking, travel, and ordinary people. After retiring as a cable network executive, Phyllis began leading mission teams to orphanages in Guatemala and now serves on three nonprofit boards, where she works with others who are equally passionate about bringing hope and light to those who need it most. Phyllis and her husband live in the Texas Hill Country.