Have you counted your blessings lately? Let me suggest one you might have overlooked. Let's be thankful for angels—those unseen guardians who work overtime, who never slumber or sleep.
Angels exist as supernatural creatures in and about heaven, and they are frequently dispatched to earth in human form to bring encouragement and assistance. If you have ever encountered the sudden appearance and/or departure of an angel after receiving one's help, you are never quite the same.
Several years ago some high school fellas from the church I pastored in Southern California went on a mountain-climbing excursion, along with their youth leader. While taking in the breathtaking sights, however, the leader realized he had lost the trail. A heavy snowfall had completely covered the path, and he didn't have a clue where they were or how they could get back to the main camp. Sundown was not far away, and they were not equipped to spend the night on the craggy, windblown slopes where the temperature would soon drop even lower.
While trudging through the snow, entertaining thoughts just this side of panic, they suddenly heard someone on the slopes above them yell down: "Hey—the trail is up here!" They glanced up and to their relief saw another climber in the distance. Without hesitation, they began to make their way up to the large boulder where the man was sitting. The climb was exhausting, but their relief in finding the way gave their adrenaline a rush.
Finally, they arrived . . . but to their surprise the man who had yelled at them was nowhere to be found. Furthermore, there were no traces in the snow that anyone had been sitting on the boulder, nor were there footprints around the rock. The trail, however, stretched out before them, leading them to safety. The boys not only learned a valuable lesson about the wilderness but also firmed up their belief in encountering "angels without knowing it."
God's special messengers are often invisible but never impotent. As the psalmist has written: "He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone" (Ps. 91:11-12).
Can you think of occasions in your own life when you had what you would consider "a close call"? How about one of your kids or friends? Can you remember a time or two when, through some incredible manner, they were shielded from harm or delivered from danger?
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