There is a balm in Gilead
to make the wounded whole;
there is a balm in Gilead
to heal the sin-sick soul.
Sometimes I feel discouraged
and think my work's in vain,
but then the Holy Spirit
revives my soul again. (Refrain)
If you cannot preach like Peter,
if you cannot pray like Paul,
you can tell the love of Jesus
and say, "He died for all." (Refrain)
Don't ever be discouraged,
for Jesus is your friend;
and if you lack for knowledge
he'll ne'er refuse to lend. (Refrain)
We all go through seasons of ups and downs in our work and in our lives. At times we are on that mountaintop, filled with great ideas and great enthusiasm. At other times the season seems to be draining and discouraging and downright difficult to even muster up the strength to endure another day.
Jeremiah writes about this sickness of the souls of his people when he asks, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?" (Jeremiah 8:22) This hymn answers these questions by putting all the work of soul-revival on the Holy Spirit and all the work of love-speak and wisdom on Jesus. This spiritual says there is a balm in Gilead, and it is there for us when the seasons of our lives are the lowest and most difficult.
Gracious God, in whatever season of life we are in, grant us your healing, wholeness, love and knowledge. Help us to put our trust wholly in your healing balm. In the name of your holy and merciful Son. Amen.