Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Zion Haste"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 1:14 – The angels are only spirit-messengers sent out to help and care for those who are to receive his salvation. (TLB)
Years ago, I returned to England for my father's funeral while my husband stayed in Canada to look after our young children. I entered the funeral service holding my mother's arm, but as we came out, she was suddenly surrounded by friends and neighbours, and we became separated. I looked around for my brothers, but their wives were ministering to them. Suddenly, I realized how alone I was, and I missed my husband.
I stepped toward the bank of flowers, my back to the other mourners, with the vague intention of reading the cards, but I was blinded by tears. A huge tidal wave of sadness rushed over me, and I began to shake. Panic began to engulf me: I could not break down here. Just at that moment, a man appeared beside me and held out his hand. A middle-aged businessman, nondescript, slightly balding, wearing glasses and a raincoat. I didn't recognize him, but I held on to his hand for dear life as I tried to collect myself. I couldn't breathe; I couldn't let go. I may have broken a few bones in his hand, I squeezed so hard. Neither of us spoke. We made no eye contact. He just stayed strong and steady as a rock for as long as it took me to pull myself together and take a deep breath. And then, he simply disappeared.
Later, I asked my family who that man was. No one else remembered seeing him. Someone suggested that he might be a representative from my father's work, although dad had already retired. My mother didn't recall anyone from the company being present.
Forty years later, I was driving down the highway here in Canada when the door latch broke on my car. I pulled over and stepped out, hoping someone would stop to help. Then, realizing how dangerous that could be, I called out loud, "Lord, send an angel!" Immediately, two cars pulled in. The drivers walked toward me. I began to explain my predicament: I couldn't drive safely while trying to hold the door in place.
One man was dark and unsmiling. He mumbled, and I was immediately wary as he proceeded around the car opening each door. I didn't dare take my eyes off him and followed him, pushing my purse out of sight, explaining that it was just the driver's door that needed attention. Meanwhile, the other driver produced a roll of duct tape and was busy taping the door shut. Job complete, he turned with a smile and gave me a cheerful thumbs-up.
I knew him! Perhaps he wasn't the same man from my dad's funeral, but he was the same type: a little overweight, balding, glasses. I glanced back. Thankfully, the dark man was shambling off towards his own car. I turned again. And my angel — and his vehicle — had simply disappeared.
Angels are real, although they may not look exactly as we might expect. At the same time, we often consider other human beings to be "angels" because of their godly actions. Who can we bless today by being a godly person, doing God's will — and acting like an angel?
Prayer: Father, Your angels are everywhere, doing Your work. They are Your servants, as are we. You promise to provide and protect, and You do that in any number of ways — and take our breath away when You do. We can trust You. Thank You, Father, for looking after us. Amen.