There is a Balm

  • May 21, 2010
  • #7320

Joni sings "There is a Balm in Gilead" and shares that when she can't find the words to pray, she turns to hymns to express her spiritual ache.

I'm Joni Eareckson Tada, and if you're hurting today, here's a special hymn just for you...

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.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

Do you know how sometimes when you hurt, your prayers, just like that hymn, and become almost a groan?  It could be when you are in so much physical pain, or emotional distress, and you can barely put two words together in prayer... you simply lean on the Word of God where it assures you that Jesus is praying for you... Romans 8:26 becomes your anchor, telling you that the Spirit at least helps you in your weakness, for "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."  That's the way it often is in prayer when you've been blindsided by a deep disappointment or some physical pain.

And for me, when I can hardly pray, that's when I turn to singing hymns like this one - a hymn that is personal and heartfelt, almost like a groan, like well like the one I just sang.  I know when I am hurting, I can barely pray or sing unless it's something simple and soulful.  I look for songs and hymns that express almost a spiritual ache, that's why when I was first injured, my family loved to sing "There is a Balm in Gilead." 

Because we all know who that balm is - it's the Lord Jesus.  He's the one who soothes and comforts.  He's the one who consoles and anoints any heart that's full of sorrow.  He's the medicine when you're in the midst of pain.  And you know... you may be going through the sorts of things my family first struggled through when I was newly injured.  Someone in your family may have just suffered a spinal cord injury, or a stroke, or the birth of a child or a grandchild with serious disabilities.  If so, I would like to offer a little comfort and encouragement through a booklet we put together called "Disability: When it First Touches Your Family."  This thing is full of all sorts of resources and helpful information that will dispel some key questions about living with a handicapping condition, and so I would love for you to visit me today at before the day's end.  Again, that's, and while you're visiting our radio page, share your family's prayer needs with us at the ministry so we can intercede for you during our morning staff prayer time.  Until then, may the comfort and consolation of Jesus, the Balm in Gilead, fill your heart and give you the comfort you need.  Please write or visit me today at  Of course, you can always call by dialing 1-888-522-5664.  Here's hoping I hear from you today. 

©  Joni and Friends

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