Are there such things as angels? I hear people disagreeing about the presence of angels in the world today and I don’t know what to make of it.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And not just because we believe that the ideals of love and devotion (or even roadside assistance) exist in the world today, but for an even greater reason.
We can always trust what the Scripture has to say regarding any matter we face. For example, consider this:
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. – Hebrews 13:2
This verse assumes the presence of angels in times and places when we are not expecting them. There are many more like it in the Bible.
Believe it or not, I’ve had an actual personal encounter with an angel. In one of my greater hours of need, and at a time I was truly not expecting it, we were visited by an angel sent straight to me with a message from God Himself.
We were headed to Tennessee on a scouting trip, where we were considering retiring. I may have been riding in the passenger seat, but I was not all in. I knew that the reasons for taking us far away from the Midwest (and our grandchildren) were arrived at prayerfully and carefully. But that didn’t mean I had to like it. I was going kicking and screaming on the inside, and I could barely breathe.
We had stopped for an overnight in an empty campground (it was midweek), unhooked the trailer, and drove to town for a bite to eat. As we returned to the campground, we heard a loud ka-chunk, ka-chunk, and I jumped out of the truck to investigate. Sure enough there was a large bolt lodged in the tire so we limped back to our campsite to change it. Flyboy dug behind the front seat looking for the tire iron only to find that inside the neatly wrapped tool bag that came with the truck we had just bought, there was. No. Tire. Iron. It was around 6:30pm and we had to be on the road early the next morning to meet our realtor.
I was about to ask Flyboy if our car insurance provided roadside assistance when out of nowhere (did I mention we were alone in this campground?), a big white pick-up truck pulled up and a cowboy in a 10-gallon hat with a long mustache asked if we needed help. We relayed the need for a tire iron, and lickety-split he was digging tools out of the back of his truck. And not just a tire iron – he had an impact driver — and before you know it, he was sitting in front of the tire like we were in the pit at the Indy 500, pulling bolts out of the wheel in record time.
I was mesmerized by his oversized belt buckle, his handcrafted cowboy boots, his southern drawl, and the huge open laptop on the front seat of his truck, as if he had received the flat tire assignment from a great dispatching center in the sky. As I watched him work, it came to me in an instant – was this cowboy an angel? A real live angel?
Realizing that one doesn’t get this kind of opportunity very often, I decided the direct approach was the way to go. I cleared my throat, screwed up my courage and asked: “Are you an angel?” He didn’t answer immediately. Finally, he said, “The good Lord knows I jus’ like helpin’ people.”
I think that meant “yes.”
After he finished zipping the spare into place, he disappeared as stealthily as he had arrived. And then, I heard a voice that was about as close to audible as I can ever remember hearing from the Lord. He said, “I’m not saying this will always be easy, but I promise I will always be there for you and I will provide for your every need.”
That hit me like a ton of bricks, and it spoke to me on so many levels. From the extra expense of a new tire (and finding someone to sell us one at a moment’s notice) – to the heart wrenching decision to move farther away from our grandkids – to the need to find a house we could afford – all of it. All. Of. It. He would provide for all of it. This was a big message, and one that required delivery by an angel in a way that I could hear. And I heard it loud and clear.
So yes, I do believe there are angels among us, some that we may be fortunate enough to recognize, but others that we may “entertain unawares.” To this day, I am still moved inside by the presence of white pick-up trucks on the road when I’m driving. It’s a reminder that the protection of the Lord is never far away.
See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. –Exodus 23:20 (NLT)