The Balm of Gilead


Tim Mills - Until then



If I were to ask if you’d like to sign up for a hospital visit and stay I am figuring your answer will be “not interested.” When it comes to hospital visits many will hear the call of care and concern when our friends and neighbors are in for a procedure, surgery or recovery period, but even then, our plans are to make the visit short, encouraging and did I write short? Quick visits to family members and friends who are hospitalized might see rude but the healthy truth is that if you are in the hospital it is for a reason and I’m confident rest is vital to a heathy recovery.

While no one wants to be admitted to a hospital for any reason, unless it’s to give birth to a child, the fact remains we try to avoid such institutions as much as humanly possible. There are many things that you can count on while participating in your “patient status.” 1. Expect to receive shots, required to swallow medications, and answer a lot of questions; 2. Expect to be in a bed where getting comfortable will be totally out of the question; 3. Expect to hear good news, bad news or answers that will require additional follow-ups.

As a minister often the duties or services that have been necessary required up early in the morning, out late in the evening or night and lots of explaining with an encouraging hope that God has a plan. The task is not only daunting but exhausting physically and spiritually. There are many songs about Jesus as the Master Physician and scripture speaks of a Balm in Gilead. We sing of this Balm from the African American spiritual, “There is a Balm in Gilead.” The search for healing has been a journey traveled by many, even Edgar Allan Poe. In the last stanzas of his poem The Raven:

“Prophet!” Said I, “thing of evil! — Prophet still, if bird or devil!

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore.

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —

On this home by Horror haunted — tell me — tell me — I implore –

“Is there – is there balm in Gilead? — Tell me — tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

Hospital visits, hospital stays, all this not forever more but rather just until our Savior and the sweet release of the ‘Balm’ that does last forever more.

Follow Tim Mills on Twitter @THMills.

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Tim Mills

Until then

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