A Balm in Gilead

OK, so it has been a rough week–and maybe even a rough month. I have been suffering long enough that I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever be completely whole again…

Nothing that serious. It will pass and there will be healing, but it has caused me to pause with more compassion in my thoughts for those who are struggling under real long term chronic suffering.

Garden of Vaucresson, 1920, French artist Jean-Edouard Vuillard, Metropolitan Museum of Art

This image of a garden by Edouard Vuillard 1868-1940 will help feed my soul with  hope for Spring. Isn’t it beautiful? I enjoyed talking to my friend Dottie this week about her big plans to start a vegetable garden this year. I hope she does and I look forward to a visit. There too, I am really looking forward to my morning walks and evenings on the patio…so don’t lose hope. Only a few more weeks until Spring and they will go by fast:))

In the meantime…

Image Source: Deror_avi

I enjoyed reading about this wonderful plant of the Bible that was a rare and precious perfume used for a myriad of complaints ranging from pleurisy, pneumonia, cough, asthma, vertigo, snake bite, and sciatica to name a few. I found it interesting to learn that Jacob sent “a little balm” to Egypt as one of his many gifts to Joseph. (Genesis 43:11)  He didn’t know it was Joseph yet, as the story goes…

Image Source: Matt Lavin

I loved this image of the Populus balsamifera tree which is found in North America and seems to be a derivative of a Balm in Gilead. It produces this beautiful red rosin that is used for all kinds of wonderful things.

Isn’t it amazing how God provides such wonders?

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows.~ Luke 12: 6-7

And then I was encouraged by these words from the famous Spiritual:

There is a balm in Gilead,
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead,
To heal the sin-sick soul.
Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my hope again.
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.
Don’t ever feel discouraged,
‘Cause Jesus is your friend,
And if you lack for knowledge,
He’ll never fail to lend.

Why are you downcast, O my Soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him my Savior and My God. ~ Psalm 42: 11

Dear Lord,

Comfort all those who are suffering today. Ease their pain…physical, mental, spiritual, social, economical…give them hope to not despair. Help us to feel your presence and to know your cure and give us the wisdom to know how to walk beside others who are hurting. Be with the caregivers, the elderly, the new parents, those who are grieving, help us to see and to make time to reach out to others. Cultivate the old ways among us. Let us remember to send the card, to stop and chat, share a meal. Help us to find our good neighbor policy once more. And remind us that you are the giver of life and the true hope of resurrection. In Jesus we hope and pray amen. 

I urge you to listen in on this service. There are all kinds of things that can heal our broken spirit if we let them.  It is very moving to observe their great out pouring from their hearts to the Lord and to feel the Spirit rise among them:))













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