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Healing Oil and the Balm of Friendship

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The soul’s wounds can carve out a hollow and leave you lost and longing for a healing that seems so elusive to pain.  Despair and deep sadness can come in and solace is desired, but none can be found…or so it seems.

King David spoke of such despair in Psalm 6:6 and Psalm 13:2,

I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears.

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?

David’s weariness came from battle, sin, betrayal of friends, grief, and the list continues.  I am sure that we do not know the half of all he faced and the loneliness he experienced in the depths of his soul!  However, David was never left in this darkness…his hope was renewed time and again through the Lord’s sustaining mercy and grace.  In fact, he sings to the Lord in Psalm 40:1-3,

I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD. 

While David was experiencing all of this, along with renewal, he also had the love and companionship of a trusted and faithful friend, Jonathan.  In I Samuel 18, we can read about the bond between David and Jonathan, but the first verse tells us of the depth of this friendship,

Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.

That knitting together of two souls…the covenant that Jonathan made to David…it is a legacy to us on friends and the love God brings between fellow sojourners.  I Samuel 18 continues and shows us this covenant,

Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.

In the act of this covenant, Jonathan stripped himself of his worldly protection and gave it to David.  Isn’t that amazing — “Here David, I love you with my very soul and I want you to be protected in battle with my armor and my sword and my bow and my belt.”  It was a demonstration of Jonathan’s love and affection for David.  It was selfless and self-sacrificing.  Jonathan could have reacted so differently, but he did not.

Several years ago, I was visiting a dear and lifetime friend in Virginia.  She has been a friend and also a spiritual mother to me.  As I sat on her couch that day, she could see some wounds on my arms — wounds that spoke of some deep pain that I was going through — a valley we had walked through together many times.

She excused herself to another room and she came back with an essential oil.  She opened the bottle and poured out the oil into the palm of her hand and began caressing and massaging the oil into my right arm and then into my left.  She took her time and gently applied it so that it would be absorbed deep into my soul — not just the essential oil  —  but the love and care and a sweet balm of friendship that is unequaled in this world.

We both sat quietly — no words were needed between us — the Lord was filling our hearts with Himself.  He had given us to each other for those times when the battle had been hardest — what a good and precious gift!

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.
Proverbs 27:9 (NASB)

Do not grow weary in the journey, beloved, cling to Jesus.  And as God sends others on your journey with you and as you comfort one another, thank Him for such goodness to you.  Our journeys here can be dark and difficult at times — but God has given us a soul that can withstand the difficulties when we put our trust in Him.  We are being pefected in Christ Jesus.

In the series, Call the Midwife, mature Jenny said this at the end of Episode 8, Season 6, “There are so many secret wounds, so many types of hidden scar.  The soul, being stronger than we think, can survive all mutilations.  And marks upon it make it perfect and complete.”

A very true and profound thought for us to remember.  In the paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, I think the way they paraphrased II Corinthians 2:4-5, sums up all that I am sharing with you here:

He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort; we get a full measure of that, too. (Emphasis mine.)

 

 

 

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