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  • "A Musing Pastor"

There is a Balm in Gilead.

When your hands are dried and chapped, where do you turn for relief?

A walk down memory lane occurred for me yesterday. Tracie and I went for an afternoon drive through Amish country. We stopped at a couple farmer's markets and in one aisle I saw this.

As a kid growing up on the farm, I was trained to hand milk cows. We had two Jersey cows and they would need milked morning and evening. Occasionally, the cows would suffer issues (injuries) with their udders and would need some medicinal salve to help healing. I know what you're thinking and you should probably stop the "Oh, that must have been and udder failure!" joke right now. Our 'go to' Rx for the udder issues was "Bag Balm". In fact, mom would often encourage me and the rest of my siblings to use Bag Balm on our hands when our skin would become too chapped for other lotions. It worked!

Chapped hands, udder abrasions, and souls all have one thing in common. They need healing salve.

The prophet Jeremiah lamented the condition of his people. He mourned with them and asked that question, "Is there no balm (salve) in Gilead?"

"Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is

there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?"

(Jeremiah 8:21-22, NIV)

To which the Afro-American spiritual hymn answers with a resounding reply,

"There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul."

Don't you love the healing thought that all our soul injuries and abrasions are dealt with by Jesus Christ grace and mercy? Have you lost a loved one? Let Jesus hold you. Have you lost a job? Let Jesus supply your needs according to His grace. Have you experienced broken relationships in your family? Allow Jesus to mend the fractures and bring wholeness back to your heart.

Oh, and if your hands get dried and chapped, reach for the Bag Balm. I will.

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