Balm in Gilead

Scripture: Today in my time of study I came again to one of my favorite phrases in Scripture, balm in Gilead. It comes of course from Jeremiah 8. The prophet is grieving for his people, for his nation. He knows exile and captivity are coming quickly because of the people’s sin, because of their refusal to repent and return to the Lord. And Jeremiah asks this question: “Is there no balm in Gilead?” The question is rhetorical, of course. The answer is yes, there is a balm. There is a Savior. The Savior is the Lord. 

Segue: I am blessed, especially over the last 10 months or so, to have a job and a ministry unlike any I’ve ever had. I’m surrounded by folks, many of whom I adore. I’ve met guys that I don’t think will every leave my memory or my affections. They are unbelievably fit, at least physically. They are hungry to prove themselves. They are eager to make an impact. I see them perhaps better than they see themselves. Many of them are future leaders, perhaps even world leaders. They are gifted, charismatic (leadership-wise, not in the Pentecostal sense), and they long to cast a long shadow. For some it is just vanity; for others it is a recognition that they’ve been entrusted with giftings.

Encouragement: But on a personal note, perhaps my greatest blessing over the last near-year has come by way of a man that I sense God provided to me (and to others) because we needed him. I have a boss who is not just a boss. He is a man with a gift unlike anyone else I’ve ever worked for. I want to work hard for him. I want to please him. I want to earn his approbation. I long to make him and this organization look good. It’s not bootlicking or obsequiousness. I have always worked hard for my bosses. But this man is different. He works as hard or harder than we do as his soldiers. He does not boast about his accomplishments. He talks to us like we are his friends. He does not condescend. He has offered to pray with and for me and my family. Things like that.

Takeaway: Why do I share such personal matters? Because it is important to encourage those who need it. It is important to say, “There is good about; there are good men (and women) in positions of power.” There are seven thousand who haven’t bowed the knee to Baal. The Lord has stationed warriors, stalwart warriors, in this world. The sons of Korah wrote, “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,” and I just want to utter a similar sentiment, though with less poetry: I am thankful for the opportunity and my aim is to be faithful to those who are faithful.

One thought on “Balm in Gilead

  1. I have had several bosses over my career. A couple have been Christian. A couple not, but still good to work for. They are rare it seems more so now than ever. But yes, the few good ones need (and of course the not so good ones) our encouragement and prayers. It makes our working life much better as we practice our Christian life out in the world. After all, isn’t that what we should be doing anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

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