“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?” Jeremiah 8:22
My husband was sick recently with what turned out to be a pretty serious infection (diverticulitis). Like many of us do, he waited until the pain was quite bad before he went to the doctor. He kept hoping it would just go away if he ignored it long enough. He didn’t want to spend the money or take time out of his busy schedule. At the doctor’s office he was given a course of antibiotics which he began taking right away. Then he anxiously waited for the pain to subside. Thankfully within a few days it did. I’m sure he wishes he had visited the physician sooner. Now if he follows a different diet, he hopes to stay well. But if the pain comes back, he’ll know what to do — get to the doctor quickly.
Where is all this going? Well, this reminds me of the sin-sickness from which we all suffer. We try to ignore it. Pretend it’s not there at all, or that it’s something we can live with. We don’t want to interrupt our lives by going to God. We don’t want to admit He deserves our time, talent and money. We’re selfish and want to keep going in the familiar (sinful) way we’ve become accustomed to.
For some of us the pain finally gets so bad we give in. We turn our problems over to God. We confess our sins and trust that Jesus will cleanse and restore us. Wow, what a relief! The love and peace we receive is so amazing, we can’t understand what was keeping us away before. With a proper diet (regular worship, the sacraments, study of God’s word) we won’t have to find ourselves in that miserable situation again. We know what to do.
There is a balm in Gilead. Something that will make us strong and healthy again. Why wait?