Date: Wednesday, March 26
Scripture: Jeremiah 8:18-22
Verse: Is there no balm in Gilead? / Is there no physician there? / Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored? (Jeremiah 18:22)
Modern medicine is amazing. Recently, my son needed X-rays and because of digital photography, his orthopedist was able to take them and show them to us in a matter of minutes. Not too long ago, that would have been two visits to two separate offices days apart. I am always amazed to see surgeries which used to take weeks from which to recover, now done in minimally invasive ways shortening recovery significantly. Then there are all the great medicines to lessen our pain and bring quick healing.
In today’s scripture reading, the prophet Jeremiah is looking for medicine to heal his heartsickness over the disobedience of his people. He writes, “Is there no balm in Gliead? No physician there?” In Jeremiah’s time, the people looked to Gilead. It seemed everything grew in Gliead, including plants that brought comfort and healing.
There are times in our lives when we feel spiritually dry. When sickness or sadness overwhelms us, and we search for relief from the pain. These seasons of discouragement can be quite difficult. It is in these times when we must honestly cry out to God asking for what we need. In a commentary on today’s passage, a professor writes, “Too often as Christians, we edit our prayers to God. We speak frankly to friends, advisors, and paid professionals, but we don’t speak frankly to God. Jeremiah holds nothing back from God and models a prayer life of both praise and lament” (Galvin). Today, may we begin to be more honest with our prayers, crying out to God for that which we need.
Prayer: Come to me in my struggles, O God, and make me whole. Amen.
Action: As you take your medicine today, eat that which is good for you, or exercise – give thanks to God for all he has provided to make us well.
Respond: What medical advancements amaze you? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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Galvin, Garrett. “Commentary on Jeremiah 8:18-9:1.” Working Preacher, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1771>.