Life is full of disappointments and discouragements: some small, some large.
Despite my general positive outlook, some times I get "bummed out."
I'm not an avid fan of any particular team, but I like to watch sports: especially football. A week or so ago, I watched two games, and the teams I wanted to win, lost. In the final minutes. It was disheartening. It was discouraging. It was only football, but I found myself feeling a bit blue. Woe is me.
(You may be laughing. That's okay. It is a bit pitiful and shallow that such trivialities should effect my mood. But perhaps you're laughing at yourself too?)
Too often, we let the little stuff get to us. Unexpected bumps trip us up.
Being a proactive problem solver, a day or so later, I retreated to my newly fenced-in enclave with my Bible. I discovered a few decades ago, that "God is the lifter up of my head." Just like a parent who puts their over-sized hand under a child's chin to make the look up, so the Parent-God does the same for me. If I let Him.
I've been reading through the New Testament. I'm in Luke. As I was reading, in my slight funk, I came across some words of Jesus that struck home: "I came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
Those words were the balm my soul needed. The smoldering feelings of disappointment, loss, and helplessness that had been ignited by observing a couple of football games suddenly ceased.
God wasn't out to fill my life with destruction: small or large.
The logical conclusion of my mild despair was that God wasn't good. Though I didn't speak the words, the emotional conclusion I had reached was that disappointments, hurts, and heartache awaited me. (And it wasn't just about football.)
I had lost sight of who God is: Good.
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" God is for us, not against us.
A simple phrase from an old story lifted my heart, restored my faith, and improved my mood. In the week or so since encountering the words, "I came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them," I have reapplied the balm repeatedly, and I have benefited.
Life is full of disappointments and discouragements. But as one poet wrote hundreds of years ago: "There is a Balm in Gilead."
That Balm still reaches out to wounded hearts, discouraged souls, and downcast sports fans. Even me. Even you.
There is a Balm in Gilead.