My Balm of Gilead

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt completely overwhelmed? You don’t know how your episode will end. You do know that God is in control, but you don’t know how much God will actually allow to transpire before you find relief.

Jeremiah, the Old Testament prophet, also known as the weeping prophet, called by God to warn God’s people, he too has been there. He cries out below:

When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. 19 Behold, the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of those who dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? Is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold of me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead: is there no physician there? Why, then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? Jeremiah 8:18-22 KJV (Emphasis mine)

What is Jeremiah referring to? Balm of Gilead was a rare and fragrant healing ointment found in the region of Gilead. This balm is first mentioned in Genesis 37:25 as the Ishmaelites came from Gilead bringing balm and myrrh to carry to Egypt.

I have been in this overwhelmed state many times, but most recently, I was there last month. This trial was a doozy for me. Trials and tribulation is the way we enter the kingdom of God, the Bible says in Acts 14:22.

So when I come upon these hard trials, I remember that the Bible says that through much tribulation we enter the kingdom of God in Acts 14:22. Remembering doesn’t make it easy, though. However, being in the deep throes of this particular trial, I prayed to God wanting to know what to do. I just wanted to know how to handle.

I testify that God is so gracious and his hand of providence does not fail. One day after I completed my seven-mile walk, I returned to my car and tried to continue listening to my Romans series by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones. I tried to resync my phone back to my car’s Bluetooth. It just wasn’t working regardless of what I tried. I decided to just go to my phone’s streaming radio channel, RefNet, and it was then I received my balm.

Immediately I recognized the booming voice of Pastor Albert N. Martin coming through and was quite content to leave it on, and then I heard him herald: “JEHOVAH REIGNS! JEHOVAH REIGNS! JEHOVAH REIGNS, even in the midst of a tempest, JEHOVAH REIGNS!”

That was it. That was my balm. Sure, I already knew it, but to hear those words preached emphatically with conviction, it poured over my wounded spirit. It gave me renewed confidence in my Great God and deep gratitude to God for intervening just when I needed him most.

Yes, knowing that Jehovah sits high, and is aware of all things, and in fact, in control of all things, rules and reigns over all, that is my balm of Gilead.

The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Psalm 103:19 KJV

Whatever your trial,  whatever your burden, know that: JEHOVAH REIGNS!



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