Tuesday, May 18, 2010


As my heart and soul search for peace and comfort in times of distress I ponder on the words found in church hymns.  One such phrase:  “Is there no balm in Gilead?”

In ancient days the balm of Gilead was an aromatic spice used to heal and soothe.  As of old, the heartbroken frequently and silently repeat the ancient question: “Is there no balm in Gilead?”  “Why me; why now?"

The strength of the balm is familiar to us through the words of a hymn: There is a Balm in Gilead, To make the wounded whole, There is a Balm in Gilead, To heal the sin sick soul.

If the burden is guilt, then repentance is the Balm of Gilead.
There are those within the sphere of our own influence who, with outstretched hands, cry out, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” I am confident it is the intention of each member of the Church to serve and to help those in need.
When we feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone; love is the balm that brings healing to the soul.

Another hymn rings through my mind: "When your soul was full of sorrow, Balm of Gilead did you borrow At the gates of day?"  Prayers of faith give us the strength necessary to get through our afflictions.

I guess what I have learned is that in order for us to be healed and made whole we need to first repent; second learn to love and to pray always.  When this happens, all are blessed and those with serious problems and afflictions feel the healing influence of the “balm of Gilead”.  I know from many personal experiences that Jesus Christ, and He alone, has ownership of the precious “balm in Gilead” (Jeremiah 8:22) needed for final and complete healing.

It is the ability of the Savior’s love to heal and make whole, to apply a balm of Gilead to sin-sick souls, to restore to full understanding precious truths long since hidden by the cares of the world and the wiles of the wicked.

For all those that suffer emotionally and spiritually there is a "balm in Gilead".  And it's not hidden from us.  We just need to ask.


Anonymous said...



I hope YOU aren't needing some balm, are you?? :(

robert said...

Well said. I've given a bit of information on the Spiritual "There Is a Balm in Gilead" on my daily blog on hymns, Wordwise Hymns, but we know nothing specific of its origin. (You can also hear the great Paul Robeson's version of the song on a link I've provided on my site.)