For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 1:9-11
A friend of mine, and colleague in ministry, once said, “Jesus felt around the edges of people’s lives until he found the cracks and fractures of their souls, and then he poured into them the balm of Gilead.” The image of balm being poured into someone’s soul is rich in grace and comfort. Who wouldn’t want that poured into our broken hearts and fractured souls?
The need for the balm, however, is the hard edge of grace. Where there is no need, no brokenness, fracture, or fault line, there is no need for balm of any kind. We are all broken, however, and there are cracks in our souls and fractures in our hearts. We need grace, healing, balm, and comfort. It comes to us in the form of forgiveness for our sins.
For the root trouble of all these woes is our abandonment of God, our willful waywardness, our sin. We accuse God in our hearts of evil whenever we perceive that he is unfair to us. We are lost and blind to his path of salvation. Had God left us in that estate, we would be forever lost, hopeless, condemned, and eternally fallen.
But God has reached into our hearts with his healing balm. We must not forget this. Through his mercy and gracious work, we have been provided an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us never forget the hard edge of grace: our need for it. But let us rejoice in the balm of Gilead, comforting, healing, enriching, showered upon us through Jesus Christ our Lord!