Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.  Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

James 5:13-20

I rarely know what thoughts I’ll be having as I begin to blog each morning.

Honestly, when I woke up this morning, after whispering the verse “I rise before dawn and cry for help.  My homes comes from Your Word,” I immediately began thinking of my lesson plan for today and whether or not I had video links to share that went along with our reading passage.  My mind seems so full anymore of what I am teaching next that when I sit down to write, I often find myself facing some sort of writer’s block.

“But God,”

I love that phrase!

“But God”

He shows up and speaks to me through His Word and suddenly all the things that spin in my mind from this crazy life seem to fade away for a while and I find myself lost in my thoughts, in His promises, in the part of life that keeps me above the swelling waters that seem to engulf me daily.

Oftentimes I become so consumed with clicking away at the computer that I look at the clock and realize I have stayed too long, leaving me a little short on time to fully get ready for school.

I can tell that this morning will be no different.
I sat down to read the next few verses in James and WHAM!

I had no idea I was entering the passage above.

A passage that could easily torment me forever.

See, Nick was anointed with oil three times by our elders throughout his fight with cancer.

We believed in the power of these words, and we clung to them over and over again….

But most of you know that in the end, God chose to take Nick Home to be with Him.

I would be lying if I said, “I understand fully God’s plan or these verses above.”

I would be lying if I said, “When I read these verses I feel comforted.”

However, I’ve come A LONG WAY in my grief journey over the past three years, and I do believe this:

Nick is healed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nick is perfect now!!!!!!!!!!

NIck wouldn’t come back to this stress-filled, evil world if I begged him…and I wouldn’t want him to leave Heaven for this.

And the part that REALLY MATTERS in the passage above is that the person who is sick and is anointed with oil has their sins forgiven!

I love that after James talks about the elders, he says,

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

In God’s eyes, healing is a spiritual thing not a physical thing.

He wants our hearts purified.

He knows that eventually our physical life is going to end…..

and it’s the condition of our soul that determines eternity!

So, as I read James this morning, I’m reminded that Jesus prayed that He would be spared from the cross, but He wasn’t. 

Paul prayed that the thorn in his flesh be removed, but it wasn’t.

God needed Jesus and Paul to walk difficult roads for Him.

And sometimes in life God needs us to walk difficult roads for Him, too.

If you feel as if you are walking on a difficult, unchosen road this morning, please know that you are not alone.
I am praying for you.

I love you.

And most of all, God LOVES you and He is with you every painful step of the way.

I love getting to the end of a great book and seeing how the author chooses to wrap up a powerful story!

I especially love happy endings!

Our life story is written throughout Scripture, and I love looking to Revelation for a happy ending!!!

Soak in these happy-ending promises this morning from the end of God’s beautiful story!!  They make James 5 a lot easier for me to read!!!

Revelation 21:4

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”