The Healing Balm and Salve: Perfect Love

Healthy love has positive effects on the body. Feelings of love have been shown to reduce heart disease, lower blood pressure , improve the immune system, help us recover faster from illness, and increase longevity. When in love, our brain increases dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in memory, attention, reward, and regulating movements of the body. Also oxytocin, a hormone, is release from the pituitary promoting feelings of attachment, trust, and safety. Oxytocin has been termed the “cuddle hormone” because it is released when we bond socially or snuggle close to another. When we love something or someone, we think about that object or person often. These thoughts are generated in the anterior cingulate of the brain which is also thought to be involved in obsessive compulsive thoughts. We may even become jealous if something or someone interferes with our relationship to that person or object. Jealousy implies a strong commitment. The bible states that God is jealous for us and His thought towards us are more numerous than the sand.

How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. Psalm 139: 17-18

For you shall worship no other god; for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God Exodus 34:14

Impassioned means filled with passion or zeal or showing great warmth or intensity of feeling (Merriam Webster). In other words, God is filled with passion for us and His thoughts of love are obsessive towards us. His jealous love comes against the things that interfere with His Perfect Love. He wants to fill us with His love until it overflows, spilling out on others and the world around us.

There is no fear in Love. His love is perfect and it turns fear out the door and removes all since of terror! God is Love and He made us in Love, in His image. He is not mad at the human race but longing to re-establish us back to union with Him and His perfect love that provides healing and protection. Why are so many sick, stressed, and fearful? I think it’s because we have forgotten the Perfect Love of the Father shown to us through His son, the Great Physician. Think on this scripture:

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people restored? [Because Zion no longer enjoyed the presence of the Great Physician!] Jeremiah 8:22

The balm of Gilead in scripture was used as merchandise, as a gift, but also as an medicament or substance used for healing. The Hebrew word for balm of Gilead is tsori or tseri. The Hebrew root word is z-r-h which means to run blood or bleed with connection to an Arabic word that means an odoriferous tree or gum. Immediately, I saw this as a spiritual reference to Christ’s shed blood upon the cross. His shed blood and broken body paid the price for our healing. He is the perfect sacrifice and the healing balm that heals our wounds. By His stripes, we are healed and restored to our original intent: a people created in the image of God, created to rule and reign with Him.

I looked up the difference between balm and salve. A balm is thicker and more wax like providing more skin protection. It sits on top of the skin helping to prevent skin damage. A salve is softer allowing it to penetrate the skin more deeply, making it better for the healing of wounds. As I studied these words in scripture (Amplified bible), I found that balm was mentioned in the Old Testament and slave was mentioned in the New Testament in the Book of Revelation:

Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see. Revelation 3:18

Often times in the bible, eyes represent the heart. In Ephesians, Paul prayed that we would be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation and that the eyes of our heart would be flooded with light (Ephesian 1:17-19).

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon the people and provided protection, but in the New Testament the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Jesus) now dwells in us and around us. Jesus is the balm that provides protection for our physical body well as our spirit. He also is the salve that goes deep into our wounds providing healing for our body and spirit. Even bigger than our individual body, Jesus is the healing balm and the salve for His Body, the church and for this world.

This brings me back to meditation and Proverbs 17:22- A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries up the bones. What is your heart and mind focused on? The world is a chaotic place always changing but there is a Love that doesn’t change and will never turn you away. The mind and heart that is full of fear and worry actually increases our risk of physical illness by suppressing our immune system. We learned earlier that a mind in love improves the immune system. Proverbs 4:20-23 provides more insight:

My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Meditating on the Love of God and attending to His Words are life and healing to our flesh. When we choose to turn our spiritual eyes toward Jesus (by meditating on the Word of God and God’s Love) our hearts and minds are flooded with Light, the Light of Perfect Love.

Protection and healing are found in the Love of Christ. It’s time to dwell with Him in the secret place. It is in this place that Love will fill you, heal you, and propel you to live the abundant life Jesus died to give you! Let Psalm 91:1-3 get deep into you spirit.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

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