The topic of Essential Oils has been trending for some time now. It is even made mention of back in biblical times but then, why wouldn’t it be found there? That’s where most important things are found. It actually comes up in the very first book.
Genesis 37 asks, “Is there no balm in Gilead?”
The balm they are referring to is a healing substance produced by a plant which grew around the area of Gilead. In Genesis, as in Ezra, as in Jeremiah, it is described as a medicinal substance which was often used as a gift to be given those who needed healing.
Personally, I like gifts, and these claims as to what the Balm of Gilead was good for are many. Apparently it had the ability to reduce inflammation, protect the immune system, while eliminating pain. It sped up the healing process, soothed the stomach and detoxified the body. These claims are not unlike those of the essential oils industry today. Many find them soothing for some of the same purposes.
Even poets made this connection as they wrote about heart matters that mattered. In the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, he refers to a substance that can heal a broken heart. He writes, “Is there—is there balm in Gilead? –tell me—tell me—I implore!”
“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?” Jeremiah refers to a broad-spectrum spiritual healing which could bring restoration.
Is there balm in Gilead and beyond? I vote yes, and let me tell you why.
You see, deep healing can happen…not only on the physical but on the emotional and spiritual levels as well. However, it takes time. Time is an essential ingredient. In order for balm to soak into wounds to bring about the healing needed, it must be given time.
So how does one know which balm is needed and for what purpose? I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know which balm can be used to heal the heart. And, if I were to write a prescription, it would essentially read as follows:
- Sit before Him in prayer. This is the first essential balm. I’ve heard it said that the only way to pray…is to pray. He will lead. Open His Word and let Him speak as you are held.
- Let Him take it from you. He so desires to carry. Allow Him. He’s much stronger.
- Cycle round and repeat the top two often. “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel). It does not read, “Listen Lord, Your servant is speaking.” Be still.
- As He unclogs the heart valves via confession…your reception becomes clearer. Allow His love to move into those areas that have now become unclogged and receive.
- Hear Him tell you how deeply you are loved. Allow yourself to hear His still small voice echo throughout the chambers. “You are loved…deeply loved.” I heard it said recently that sin is merely us forgetting how much we are loved. Remembering how deeply He truly loves us is essential. But here’s the thing…if we don’t remember…He doesn’t love us any less. His desire is that you know that He does. It’s not about a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about knowing that we are worthy only because He is worthy.
- Let Him enfold and hold you as you cycle through these.
- Rest…in knowing that He is God and you need not be. Allow Him to love you and “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). As He holds fast, He becomes our balm of Gilead. There is nothing that His grace cannot cover. NO THING…NOTHING. Amen.
Kathleen Kjolhaug, OblSB
This blog was first published on Theology in the Trenches, written and maintained by Oblate Kathleen Kjolhaug. Reposted with permission.