Angels are all the rage this time of year. After all, they are an integral part of the Christmas story. Movies use them to make a worldly theme seem spiritual, our children dress up as angels for plays, these winged creatures hover over our nativity scenes, and we place them on top of our Christmas trees.
Even when it’s not Christmas we have a fascination with angels but do we really understand who these supernatural beings are and what role they play in God’s creation?
HAVE YOU EVER FELT AN ANGEL’S PRESENCE?
Contemplating this question I realized that my answer is yes, but just like I take my many blessings for granted, I take the presence of angels for granted too.
We usually connect angels to the amazing, e.g. announcing Jesus’ birth or protecting Daniel in the lion’s den. But is that always the case? Angels are around us all the time and they are here for the mundane as well as the extraordinary missions.
Prepared to understand our needs, angels do the right thing at the right moment. Do we need comforting or a reality check? Is it time to protect or is there a need for a rescue?
Here are some times God brought to mind when I asked myself if I ever encountered an angel.
A Calming Angel
It was a typical morning and I was on my way to work. As usual, I was running a late and as I merged onto the highway I was a little heavy on the gas. Well, the car got the message and took off like a rocket. The car careened down the road as I frantically pumped on the brake. Nothing worked and I didn’t know what to do!
Well, God, you’re my last resort.
Do you ever find yourself in a similar situation? Turning to God when there is nothing else available. Unfortunately, I think I do that more often than I want to admit or even realize.
“God, you have to do something!” I screamed. Yeah, it was more a command than a plea. Kind of bold, I know. Somewhat like a David or Moses prayer.
Despite my lack of reverence, God answered. Suddenly I felt in control and now that panic wasn’t driving me I was able to drive the car to the side of the road. No damage to the car or me. Just a jarring stop.
An Unnatural Calm
As I sat there watching cars speed past me I was incredibly calm – no heart pounding in my chest or shaking hands. In fact, I wasn’t relieved but instead annoyed at the inconvenience. What was I going to do now?
Well, there were no cell phones at the time, so I risked life and limb and began the trek back to the on-ramp.
Traffic was heavy as a trudged along the shoulder. Suddenly it occurred to me, amazingly there were no vehicles in front of me when my car hurtled down this usually busy highway. Huh. I wonder how that happened?
Despite ignoring the obvious and my lack of gratitude for answered prayer, God arranged another coincidence. A good Samaritan came to my rescue and I was able to get to a phone, call work, have my car towed, and get home safely.
When I told a friend about my eventful morning, she said God must have sent an angel to protect you and keep you calm. It was then that I realized how ungrateful I’d been and the interventions God arranged on my behalf that morning.
Yes, I believe an angel was sent to protect me and offer an unnatural calmness during a scary and perilous situation.
A Reassuring Angel
My grandmother adored children and, in particular, my son Patrick, her first great-grandchild. Unfortunately, he was the only great-grandchild she lived to see.
She lived with my parents. So when Patrick visited his grandparents, he always ran to his great-grandma’s room to greet her. Her face lit up when he got on her lap and they giggled about nothing and everything. Their mutual love and joyful interactions warmed everyone’s hearts.
When my son was going on three years of age my grandmother died. I tried to explain death to him, but as every reader knows it is a difficult conversation to have with a child, especially when that child was close to the deceased person and doesn’t understand why he won’t see her anymore.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how he was handling her death or what he was thinking. The day after we buried my grandmother Patrick stood at our front window looking up at the sky.
He seemed engrossed in something and I wondered if I should approach him and interrupt his thoughts when I heard him say, “goodbye Whitey.” That was the name he called my grandmother because her last name was Whiteman.
I sat down beside him and asked what he was looking at. His innocent eyes looked at me and he said, “Whitey was in the sky saying goodbye to me.” No fear; in fact, he was content and happy.
Was this an angel sent to ease my son’s two-year-old heart and mind? Did his child’s soul understand that death was not the end? I believe there was some type of supernatural intervention that day, but until I contemplated angel encounters I treated this gift as ordinary, when it certainly was not.
My husband, Todd, tells a story about my stepson, Danny, when he was a child. A veterinarian, Todd was working in a barn when Danny wandered off. A soaking wet kid returned a few minutes later. When asked how he got wet he said he fell through the ice on the pond.
I’m sure Todd went pale at the thought of what could have happened. He immediately wrapped him in something warm and turned the heater on in the car.
When asked how he got out of the pond he told his father that his grandfather (who was deceased) pulled him out to safety.
It is my personal belief that humans don’t return once we pass over. (Luke 16: 19-31) Nevertheless, did angels take the form of a loved one to reassure and rescue these children? After all, there are examples in the Bible of angels taking human form. (Genesis 19: 1-2, Judges 7:12, Mark 16:5)
The Bible tells us many stories about angels. God uses them in different ways that are most effective for the situation. Why not use a familiar person to touch a child’s heart?
My mother’s passing was very difficult for me. We were extremely close and I was losing not only my mother but a best friend, spiritual mentor, and a place where I went for comfort and wisdom all my life. I miss her more than words can express.
God was good during her last hours. I sensed the supernatural as this woman of tremendous faith passed from this life into the next. She was too weak to open her eyes, but she still spoke occasionally.
At one point she said, “I’m going, I’m going, I’m going.” When asked where she was going she said: “To Jesus!” Yes, she said it with a bit of an attitude. Like duh, you don’t know?
I told her to go ahead and I would catch her later. She replied, “I know you will and I will be waiting for you.”
Later she commented, “It is a joyous place.” Were angels opening up the curtain for her to see where she was heading?
It was a heartbreaking night, but there was also a peace that surrounded her death.
Looking back, I wonder if the angels were there to comfort me or my mother? They certainly did double duty that night.
My Christmas Angel
Then there was the Christmas after my mom’s death when I discovered a long lost ornament that Mom treasured as a child. I lost it a few years back and had painstakingly looked for it to no avail.
The stage was set for this miracle when we drug our fully decorated tree out of storage to the living room. Yes, I am a scrooge when it comes to decorating and this is one way I make this tradition a little less painful.
Well as I fluffed up the branches and arranged the crooked ornaments, I got the surprise of my life. There was the lost ornament hanging on the front of the tree!
How did this occur? What was the message? The ornament was both comforting and disturbing.
There is not enough time in this article to tell the whole story, but it is a heartwarming tale that will encourage your faith. Check out Christmas Miracle? You’ll be glad you did, I promise.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Review your life and ask God to help you recognize some supernatural events. Find a quiet spot and ask God to reveal the angels in your life. Listen intently.
Think about all the coincidences in your life. Remember the times when you called something a fluke, or when you said something like, “that was a stroke of luck!” Ask others about a time “fate” intervened in their lives and how that turned out for them. Then be open to recognizing God’s hand in those instances.
I think you will be surprised. I know that I was!
Additionally, let these personal experiences bring joy and comfort to others by sharing your angel experiences in the comment section below. You have no idea whose life you may touch.
THIS MONTH’S WORKOUT SERVICE PROJECT
Why not try a reverse advent calendar this month? Click here to see how.
This is the December workout post. For new readers, we always have a service project suggestion like the one above. To learn more about these workouts, click here.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, please share your experiences with angels. Also, if you have some biblical insight into these messengers, please let us know that too.
This is our last workout. I hope you enjoyed this 2019 series.
However, there will be one more post before the end of the year. We will look at how culture and the Bible view angels differently. See you then.
Blessing until next. time.