Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is There No Balm in Gilead?

God has blessed us with every heavenly blessing, and He Himself is life and joy and healing. Yet, so many of his people are hurting, hanging on, and tired. Why is this?  We read the same question asked in Jeremiah:
"For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt.
I am mourning;
Astonishment has taken hold of me.
Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?" - Jer. 8:21-22

Now, of course, there IS balm in Gilead, so to speak. The issue does not lie with a lack of medicine. God loves to give good gifts and showers us with everything that we need.

As humans, we are designed with needs. Lots of needs. We have spiritual needs, physical needs, and even emotional needs (recall, before the fall, God said that it was not good for man to be alone). Yet, many times we want to rise above this calling, and want to assure ourselves, "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing."

Yet humans are needy by nature. When God Himself took on human flesh, He took on human needs as well. And He embraced that neediness! He was on His knees before the Father each morning. For 40 days, He also fasted.  Fasting makes our body remember all of it's physical needs, and it brings us sometimes grumpiness and the feeling of physical desperation. Fasting reminds us of our own neediness.

Those who aren't cool with neediness pursue the path of selflessness with fervor. They don't complain, they are tough. They don't ask for things, and besides, they can handle it! It's very much against their way of life to accept help from anyone. Jesus Himself addressed people like this by saying that the well have no need for a physician - He didn't specifically mention that they need Him, but He pointed out that they would not be able to benefit from His presence as long as they were in the category of "the well who don't need things."

Yet as Christians, we want to be the cool Christians. The Christian with our act together. We don't want our flaws or needs or wants spilling out to where people can see them. We want to be a "good example" for others, and by "good example," we mean "got our act together." Yet sometimes that motivates us to cut ourselves off from additional grace and blessings that are always available to us, because of God's rich generousness.

[Please click on picture to view it full size, so that you can read the dialogue]


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