I believe I’ve met two angels in my lifetime. Real angels. Like angels from Heaven angels. It’s very difficult to explain why I believe they were angels but I am going to give it my best shot. I say it’s difficult because it’s one of those things in life that just feels different. Either they or God Himself make a way to leave you feeling overwhelmed with a feeling of something really good, something supernatural, something different.
When I was a little girl I grew up going to church. In my church, angels were never glorified or even discussed very much. There may have been a few random Bible stories with angels in them from time to time. The biggest one I remember learning about was the angel who came to Mary to tell her she was going to be pregnant with the Son of God. Every time my teachers or elders would tell the story, I always felt too rushed when it came to describing the angel. I always had a million questions before we could move on to the point of the story. I got hung up on the angel part.
I’ve always been a person who points out the fascinating detail and meticulousness in God’s creations. Sometimes as a little girl, I would just stare at my dog and analyze her. I would analyze her ears and her eyes and I would try to ask her questions so I could watch her think. I wondered what she was thinking and if her brain worked similarly to peoples. I mean He is just truly an outstanding artist. He has thought of literally everything. From the details in a mosquito’s make-up, to the beauty of a desert sunset, God’s designs are magnificent.
So when I first heard of this thing called an angel, I was flabbergasted. Still to this day I love reading verses in the Bible that discuss human encounters with angels. I’ll tell you a few of my favorites and then I’ll get in to my own experiences.
One of my all-time favorites is found in Psalms 91:11: For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
One thing I notice that seems to be consistent with each Bible story is the need for the angel to tell the human to not be afraid. This tells me that they must be slightly intimidating in their form or stature. Maybe the wings would throw us off. Or maybe they come with a bright shining light or are much larger than a human. Either way, they seem to always have to provide the disclaimer that they are not going to hurt you before they can deliver their message. This verse in Psalms always makes me feel safe. I feel like I’m probably in good hands if I have these amazing creatures created by God Almighty looking out for me and guarding me in all of my ways throughout life. Fascinating.
A second favorite is Luke 15:10 which says In the same way I tell you there is joy in the presence of angels of God over every sinner who repents. Whoa. That is really cool. So these creatures that are so powerful and beautiful and have personalities actually worship God and rejoice when sinners turn to Him?
There are many verses describing the angels obeying Gods commands and also singing to God, “Holy Holy Holy is the King”. Other verses describe the angels bowing down to God. Most verses are describing the angels doing some type of work for God. Even Jesus even references angels in Matthew saying “don’t you know I could have a million angels at my disposal right now if I asked” (paraphrased of course). I love the missions they go on. There were witnesses in history that can attest to Daniel being thrown into a pit of hungry lions for disobeying the king’s orders. However, angels were sent on a mission from God to close the mouths of the lions so they couldn’t touch Daniel.
My entrepreneurial spirit makes me question how these missions are planned. Like, do these angels have work schedules given a week ahead of time? Do they work 40 hour weeks? Do they get work orders for these missions? Or does He just call for them and send them out at the spur of the moment at just the right time?
However God has it organized, I know that He had me on the schedule on two particular days. I know that one of His promises to us is that everything will work out for good for those who love Him. In order to keep that promise, He uses all of His various creations to intervene in our lives just when we need Him. I believe He uses specific humans at specific times to accomplish His work too. But what a luxury to be able to choose to use an angel to get the job done when necessary.
So my brother in law had just passed away and the family was still in shock. Everything was in a disarray and nothing seemed to make sense for a few days. 26 years old. Totally unexpected and left us completely blindsided. His children were 3 and 4 when he died; they had literally become orphans overnight. After not much planning, we agreed to take the two children home with us to try to give them some stability and sense of family after this type of trauma. Along with our own two kids, we all piled in our truck and headed across state lines back to our home. I cried throughout the trip wondering and worrying. We won’t even have clothes that fit them. This means more food, more beds, a bigger vehicle. As I felt overwhelmed by the circumstances and the increased financial burden ahead of us, I heard the promise of my God reminding me not to worry about anything, including the clothes on our backs or the food and water we need daily. I was reminded that He even looks after the birds of the air, so how much more does He care for us? The words of my mother rang through my ears reminding me that He will provide and He will take care of us.
The next morning after we arrived back in our hometown, I wanted to take all 4 of the kids to a park I had seen but never been to before. I figured a day at the park in the fresh air would help myself and the kids to clear our minds and have some fun. I didn’t want to dwell on the loss or the sadness. I wanted comfort from the fresh air and the beauty of God’s nature.
We walked all around that park playing and laughing and feeding the ducks by the pond. I felt overwhelmed by God’s presence; I felt Him all through the park: the breeze, the warm sun, the aroma. I felt His peace and His comfort.
As we were leaving, I was rounding up all of the children and a woman came out of nowhere. She kindly smiles and asks, “Are these all your children, maybe I can help you”. I thought for a moment before answering, wondering if I should already begin claiming them all as my children. I was so used to having two. I looked at the other two looking up at me curiously awaiting my answer. I smiled back and said, “Yes, yes they are all my children.” God had already given me a peace and a promise not to worry. Just moments earlier I felt His spirit calming me and letting me know that He was going to take care of us, all of us. So I felt a calm confidence when I answered her. I thanked her for her help and we walked and talked all the way to the car. I briefly informed her of how I came to have 4 children (2 of them a completely different race than me). She even helped me get them all into my car. I thought she was unusually helpful. And unusually kind. Even a kind person doesn’t usually hold your children’s hands all the way from the lake area to the car. Or help you load your kids into their car seats.
I tried to reiterate my gratitude for her kindness. She humbly accepted and told me to wait just a moment while she ran to her van. She came back and opened my hand and put money into it. After glancing down and realizing she was giving me money, I immediately began to refuse. However she firmly insisted and informed me that God had instructed her to do so. She didn’t say another word. She closed my hand, walked back to her vehicle and went on her way. When I opened my hand, I realized it was a $100 bill. My eyes welled up with tears and I just stood still right there in the park. I stood still before my God. As I stood under the warm sun with the breeze on my face, I looked up to the sky and thanked Him. This complete stranger just hand delivered real life currency from God to my children. She was the kindest stranger I had ever met. Of course there is no way to be 100% positive, but I truly felt she was an angel. I even watched (and wouldn’t have been surprised) to see if her vehicle would disappear into thin air. Hebrews 13:2 says Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Not convinced? Here goes another…
It was our anniversary. A big day. A highly anticipated day. We had plans for an NBA basketball game at the stadium. Flashy lights, expensive snacks, professional athletes, and tons of fans! It was all set. We had our friends drop us off right at the front. We told them where to meet us when the game was over and we headed off to get our tickets. Just as cute as two teenagers in love. We held hands and laughed as we walked through the crowds. We got to the checkout, “Two tickets please”. Everything was going just as planned and out of nowhere… BAM… a big fat DECLINED bank card. No possible way. We knew we had money in there. But just as in typical cases we look like the desperate losers who are so embarrassed that they need to make up loud excuses as to why or how this could have ever happened. We humbly walked out of the line and to a break in the crowd where we could shamefully discuss a plan B. Apparently the bank had placed a hold on our account and our funds wouldn’t be accessible until the next day. And of course, they were closed for the evening. How could this happen? If only I wouldn’t have given all of that loose change to the homeless man outside. We made plans to call our friends to come back to get us. But before doing so, I told my husband I was going to the restroom first. Knowing I didn’t need to use the restroom, I walked in and squatted down and prayed. I asked God for His help. I informed Him (in case He didn’t catch it) that I had given the homeless man outside almost the exact amount that we were short for our tickets. While in the bathroom, I checked the balance of another account. It had almost the exact amount in it to make the purchase. I felt confident that God was going to make it work for us. I finished my prayer by thanking Him for caring even about the little things. I left the bathroom determined that this time we would leave the line with tickets. I convinced my husband to do the walk of shame and re-enter the ticket sales line. Hundreds and hundreds of people in line all around us. There were at least 10 ticket lines all completely full. We stood there together much more calm and much more humbled than when we first arrived. I knew my husband was going to either die from humiliation or kill me if we had to walk out of line again from me being wrong about the amounts or something weird like that.
But before I even got a chance to worry about it again, something unbelievable happened. Out of the hundreds of faces all crammed together in these lines, I see a man pointing at my husband. He points and says “You! Yes you right there! Are you in line to buy tickets?” My husband unsurely and confusedly says yes. Everyone close enough to see and hear were watching intensely as they were just as curious as we were (maybe even jealous). “Today is your lucky day, two free tickets”. He placed the tickets into my husband’s hand and walked away, vanishing into the mob.
Once again, I was forced to be still. I was in awe. I guess I really didn’t think God could or would do something so blatant. It took us a few moments before we could even look at each other. And when we finally did, a roar of laughter came bursting out from both of us. Of course I being the woman in the relationship couldn’t hold back the tears from forming through the laughing. What a coincidence! We laughed and joked that we were checking for wings when the man turned around to leave. We headed to our seats and enjoyed the best anniversary night ever. In Genesis 18:1-19, God and two angels appeared as men and actually ate a meal with Abraham. Angels appear as men many times throughout the Bible (Joshua 5:13-14; Mark 16:5). So…humans or angels? I don’t really know; but what I do know is that it came as a direct answer/gift from God. James tells us “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…”. So stay alert and open your mind to know that God is always there and He uses both people and angels to help us and to keep us strengthened. Remember the promise from Psalms 91:11
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.