Marcia Morrissey: Everyday Rapture and Personal Coming of the Lord

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Yes, the Lord is returning, but it isn’t the end of the world that we need to worry about so much. What we should be concerned about is when He comes for each of us as individuals in our own lives, and to be ready each day for His return for ourselves.

Everyday Rapture
With Testimony of Entering the Presence of the Lord

By Marcia Morrissey
May 19, 2011


Matthew 24:42 tells us, “Be on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on which day your Lord is coming.”

Preacher Harold Camping, from Family Radio, has predicted that May 21, 2011, the Lord is coming back, and he has even predicted at which hour.

Yes, the Lord is returning, but it isn’t the end of the world that we need to worry about so much. What we should be concerned about is when He comes for each of us as individuals in our own lives, and to be ready each day for His return for ourselves.

I am just going to respond to this from my personal point of view. I have faced my own mortality a few times in my life, and I am still here. The Lord isn’t done with me yet. As I write this, we will be going to a memorial service tonight for the father of a friend of our son and daughter-in-law. Frank was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late March, and now we are attending his memorial less than two months later. No one knows the hour—for the world, or for ourselves—except God.

When I was still sighted, as I drove home from work one day down a hill behind our home, I passed a scene that has stuck in my mind all these years. I was the only car on the road, and passed a police officer just placing a blanket over the body of a motorcyclist. Apparently he had spun out of control on this road, and I’m sure that he never dreamed that he would be meeting his Maker at the bottom of that hill. As I drove past, I sent up a little prayer hoping that he had known that the Lord loved him. I don’t say this to be morbid, but just to be realistic.

I have already written about having a “near death” experience when I was 20, and that my dad died of a sudden massive heart attack after we just finished a nice family dinner. To worry about “doomsday” is, in my opinion, a waste of time. Each day the Lord gives us is a gift, and an opportunity to live it the best we can. I don’t know when the Lord will return—maybe soon, but only God knows. The thing I do know for sure is that each day is a day closer to the Lord’s return for me personally, and I want to be ready, and to keep in mind that I will (we all will) have to give an account for how I used the time He gave me.

When Ed and I were in Rome, I thought in my mind as we walked miles each day how thankful I was to have that chance, and that we were even able to be there. Only a few years ago, before my kidney transplant in 2007, I was so sick that even some of my doctors, as I learned later, weren’t all that optimistic. I was so weak that I literally couldn’t walk from one floor of our house to another without difficulty. I had to have thirteen blood transfusions while I was on dialysis to even keep my hemoglobin in a reasonable range.
Yet, here we were walking up and down the hills of Rome; several times I sent up a silent prayer of gratitude. Without really talking too much about it, Ed and I were both thinking that this was in a way a trip of thanksgiving to the Lord for all that He got us through in the past few years. We were both healthy at the moment, and we were grateful to be able to celebrate that fact.

Because of my past experiences, perhaps I keep in mind that life is short. I just wake up in the morning being thankful for each day, and giving it to the Lord for whatever it brings. I try to do the best I can, and to love my family with all my heart.

If we all lived each day as if it might be the last, how would that change our perspective? What would we do, what would we say to the people in our lives, and how would we treat everyone around us? I know that each day is a gift. What would we notice, instead of taking for granted? Life is to be appreciated, and lived to the fullest.

One of these days the Lord will return, but that is in His time frame, not ours. For now, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)

Last week I spoke to my friend Sally about the long struggle her mother has had with cancer—she is in a hospice now approaching her last days of this life.  Although she has always been a person of faith, she is afraid of death.  That is an understandable thing—fear of the unknown.

Trying to comfort Sally, I related my own near-death story.  When I was 20 years old, I was in a diabetic coma.  I had an experience that—even though I have faced my mortality a few times since—has never been repeated.  While in the coma I had no knowledge of what was going on around me in the ER, but was very much aware of what was happening to me; my mind was extremely clear, and I knew that I was dying.

I felt as if I was floating in a bright, very comforting light, and I could hear a type of musical sound—not like anything I have ever heard here on earth before.  I felt a “peace” descend upon me that I had never experienced, before or since. The word “peace” is inadequate; it doesn’t even come close to describing what I felt—the “peace that passes all understanding.”

With calm reasoning, I made a sort of mental list—the pros and cons of whether to go on, or to go back.  I didn’t hear any voices, or see anyone during this experience, but I “felt” the presence of God.

I thought about my parents, and how grieved they would be to lose me, but then I knew that, even missing me, they would be okay.  I thought about all my plans for my life. I was in college, and was a very goal-oriented person, but suddenly it seemed that if those things happened that would be nice, but if not, that was alright too.  The one thing that surprised me then—and even now, when I think back—is that I had always hoped to get married, and that having children was important to me.  But even that wasn’t enough to make me want to come back.

Now, of course, I’m so very blessed that I have had the joy to marry, be a mother and grandmother.

But just as I had that thought, I felt like I fell back into the bed, or maybe into my body.  I only came to very briefly—there were several people surrounding my bed working on me, and the nurse at my right said, “She’s back.”  I thought, “No, I want to go on!”  I didn’t want to come back—I wanted to stay in that peaceful place.  I passed out immediately, but this time it was nothing like before—no concept of time, no thoughts.  It was a completely different experience from the first time, and I was in the coma for a few days more.  When I woke up finally, I was in the ICU.

My doctor came to see me, and showed me his report.  He pointed out a pH number that showed that I was one-tenth of a point from death.  He just said, “I thought I lost you.”

Although I’m not anxious to die anytime soon, since that experience, I have not feared death.  I know without a doubt that what awaits those who believe in God, and put their trust in Him, is beyond all comprehension.

Such an experience is not easy to talk about, or to try to explain; it is life-changing.  This life is precious, and a gift, and to be appreciated, but this is not the end.  What we do here in this life, and the choices we make, will determine our next life.  Even some non-believers have had these experiences, but not always peacefully. Some come back completely changed, as believers.

Perhaps the Lord allows some people to go through this, so they may tell others, who will believe and give glory to God.  Like in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11), “…Jesus said, this illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (Verse 4).

But Lazarus did die again, in God’s time—so will all of us one day—and we need to be ready at any time.  For my friend’s mom, and for others, it lingers: death comes slowly, like a terrible tease.  For some, as we see daily in our headlines, death is sudden.

In the story of Lazarus we also see Jesus understanding pain and suffering.  He was moved with pity and emotion seeing the grief of his friends, and of those who cared about them.  The shortest verse in Scripture is verse John 11:35—”Jesus wept,” even though “he knew what he was about to do. ” The irony is that Jesus’ gift of life to Lazarus led directly to his own death.  Jesus knew this when he traveled to Mary and Martha to perform this miracle, but he did it so that they would believe.  I’m sure that his humanity feared the suffering he was destined to endure, but his divinity knew that it was the only way to win our salvation, so that eternal life with God could be given to us—through death, through resurrection, to eternal life.

Marcia Morrissey is a wife, mother, and grandmother of two sweet little granddaughters in Minnesota.