I remember one Sunday morning when I was a young man sitting in Concord Baptist Church anxiously waiting for the healing words from Rev. Gardner C. Taylor. The sermon was titled, “The Balm in Gilead.” Prior to his delivery of this most memorable sermon, a soulful sister sang the familiar hymn, “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.”
Taylor went on to tell about a tree in Gilead that is tapped periodically for its balm or healing oil. He described the tree as rugged-looking, not physically attractive or regal. It was not really a tree that you would admire for its physical beauty.
This tree, however, produced a healing oil that was known and desired throughout the world. Taylor then compared this tree to Christ, who also has the power to heal the spirit as well as the physical body.
In the practice of medicine, I lecture to the young doctors at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. One of my first lessons is titled, “Which (Witch) Doctor for Which (Witch) Patient? I try to make the young doctors aware of the power of the spirit in healing. Without a doubt, I let them know that if they don’t possess a little of the “witch” in them, healing will seldom take place. Going back to my roots in Africa, I relate that the witch doctor not only used herbs and other medicinals but also used the power of his spirit to heal.
Many times patients have come to my office and told me that they had been healed at a religious meeting. This could very well be true; however, I always tell them that God also uses the physician to heal. Once, a patient who had poorly controlled diabetes told me that she had been healed and was no longer taking her insulin. Her condition was obviously deteriorating. To demonstrate to her that I was also a part of God’s plan in helping her to heal, I related the following story:
There was a flood and a woman was stranded on the first floor of her house. The water was rising. A boat came by and a rescuer said, “Get on board!” But she refused. “The Lord will save me,” she said, running to the second floor. Another boat came by. She again refused to be rescued. Finally, the water rose to the roof top and a helicopter came by, inviting her on board. Again, however, she said, “God will take care of me.” Ultimately, she drowned. Upon her arrival in heaven, she asked St. Peter, why did God allow me to drown? And he replied, “What do you mean? Didn’t he send you two boats and a helicopter?”
Following this tale, I told my patient that God uses religious leaders, doctors, or grandparents with age-old remedies as his “boats.” She continued praying but also taking her medication, and she survived. The power of the balm in Gilead is still present and capable of healing the body and spirit, and I believe God uses his earthly angels to carry out his miracles.
During this Christmas season, may the spirit of Christ begin the healing process in all of you who may be physically, mentally or spiritually ill. For further information on holistic healing, contact: A Betterway Holistic Health Counseling at 718-526-3990 or 718-739-4357 or abetterwayhhc@yahoo.com
Blessings in the New Year!

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