Thanks, Ashley, for inspiring me to write this experience.
The year 2016 and 2017 were challenging years for both my family and me. We went through a situation that almost drenched our faith, especially me. In December of 2017, my family decided to fly to the State for a National Retreat (a yearly Christian program that the church organizes globally). We desperately needed some time with God as a family. We needed time to heal and the strength to move on. We planned to stay back in my sister-in-law’s place after the retreat for a holiday.
During the retreat, we lodged in a hotel that allowed us to focus on God throughout those 5 days programs (thanks to our pastors over there). The first 2 days of that retreat could be referred to as a period of weeping and crying. Every congressional song penetrated my soul and spirit like an arrow and launched me into ceaseless tears.
The remaining part of the program was a period of healing, renewal, and revival. Before this period, my spirit had suffered deep dryness and was almost dying of spiritual malnourishment. During the programs, it was like my thirsty heart was thrown into a pool of refreshing water, swimming like a fish in the ocean of life. I got so many insights from the words of God that I penned down accordingly. The ministers, the teachers, the choir presentations, etc., were fantastic. You could tell that they were operating under the power of prayers. There was no doubt the presence of God was in the place.
I started the retreat with tears and ended with rejoicing. God is forever faithful. It was like that retreat should not end. Anyway, we must go back home to face the world again. We returned to my sister-in-law’s place in Rhode Island.
The next day, after my family had gone to bed at night, l decided to stay back and go over my notes. I pulled out my Bible, my pen, and my notebook. As I started going over my jottings, I somehow dozed off. The next thing l saw was me in a place amidst some people. We were all busy doing one thing or the other. Suddenly, something happened, and the next thing was that people started flying in the air and disappearing. Immediately, l knew it was rapture taking place.
If there was any time l was sure of making it to heaven, it was that period. I started preparing myself for my turn. I began to feel something happening in my body… I was in that experience when I suddenly found myself still sitting on the bed with my notebook and my pen in my hands. The fear mixed with confusion gripped my soul tightly and won’t let go for a moment. I quickly turned around to check my husband. Thank God he was there sleeping, like a baby. I climbed down the bed and went to check my children. They were all still there deep in sleep. My heart could not still stop pacing within me. I reached out to my phone and started sending out random messages to those l knew were really children of God. I wasn’t getting instant response as it was already late in the night, but we were 2 hours ahead. Eventually, I got some responses and finally got my relief; rapture had not taken place. It was too tormenting that night but relieving in the long run.
Bible is an ancient book that contains a lot of prophecies. Hundreds of these Biblical prophecies had come to pass, while some are still pending. Among other prophecies yet to be fulfilled is the prophecy about the rapture.
What is Rapture?
Rapture comes from the Latin word ‘rapio’ meaning ‘caught up’ or ‘carried off’. Simply put, it is catching up or carrying off of the believers in Christ; the wise virgins who have given their life to Christ. They live above sins and are diligently waiting for the rapture which could happen any moment.
‘For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.’1Thessalonians 4: 16-18
The enemy is also aware of the rapture and would do anything possible to hinder any Christian from making it. Temptation, trial, tribulations, challenges, persecutions are out there to challenge believers waiting for the rapture. The stain of sins would disqualify any believer who yielded himself or herself to it. The Bible says without holiness no one shall see the Lord (Hebrew 12:14). The temptation of life would post itself strategically to trap any believers in their careless moment. False prophets, the business-minded, celebrity pastors would be there to misdirect the ignorants, to suit their purposes. Carnality and offenses might creep into the congregation of people of God to drain grace out of the life of any vulnerable believers. These are the reasons believers cannot afford to sleep off at this late hour but to watch and pray. Regardless of the situations out there, we have confidence in God’s words that He who has begun a good work of salvation in us will bring it to completion. God’s grace is fully available to carry us through as His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.
If you are believers, you can not go back now to those things you have left behind. All the bridges you burned don’t try to find them; that songwriter warned in his song titled: ‘Don’t turn around to the things you left behind’. You must set your face like a flint and walk right unto the promised land. Don’t turn around to the things you left behind.
If you are still undecided about Christ, it is getting dangerous now. Jesus Christ is loving and patient. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. His hands are wide open waiting for you to jump in so He could catch you and embrace you in love.
Who is sufficient unto all these? Thank God, our sufficiency is of God. He will hold our hands and lead us on. My honest prayer is that God in His mercy will have mercy on every one of us and grant us daily grace that diligently awaits the Christ coming in rapture.