Monday, February 20, 2006

Healing the Hurt

“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jer.8:22)

In the last four verses of Jeremiah eight, the prophet sounds much like a gynecologist, addressing maladies of women. He even sympathizes in verse twenty-one by saying, “For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt.” Setting aside the historical significance of these verses about a backslidden nation of Israel, they remind me of women who are hurt, but who look for healing in all the wrong places. Peace of mind in not found in a pill, but a Person; emotional healing cannot be accessed in books, but in the Bible; and the source of true love is not a good man, but the God-Man. Medication may work in the short run, but it’s only a stop-gap, not a cure. Books—even Christian ones—may provide insight, but they cannot claim Spirit infusion. And a good man can meet many needs a woman may have, but not the greatest need: peace.

Jeremiah wonders why health is not restored to the “daughter,” when there is a Great Physician standing by with soothing salve for every aching soul. As with all remedies, however, it must be appropriated. But, so often, not until we’ve “suffered many things of many physicians” and “spent all that [we] have, emotionally, do we turn to the only One who is able to say, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace…” (Mark 5:34)

“Is there no balm in Gilead?” Answer: “Yes” “Is there no physician there?” Answer: “Yes, there is” These are simply rhetorical questions with obvious answers. But here’s a real one for you: “Why then is not the daughter of my people recovered?” And that’s a question, “daughters,” only you can answer.

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