Many nights our son asks me to pray for angels to watch over him while he sleeps. I always pray for however many angels he wants that night. I don’t think of this pray as me just appeasing my son so he will go to sleep. Why? Because I believe in angels.
I am not sure that I have ever met an angel, but I have my suspicions. Of course, it would be easy to know if I had if I saw something like the little baby-faced, bare-chested winged creatures that are depicted in my son’s Bible story book. Or, if some nine-foot warrior dressed out in battle gear stood before me saying, “BE NOT AFRAID!”
I am not looking for a theological discussion here about angels, their existence, their purpose, etc, except to say that scripture speaks to their existence. Also, many places in scripture describe how God uses angels to minister to us in some way. But my belief in angels stems from my own personal encounters with what seems to have been an angel or two.
I believe angels have protected me from harm, encouraged me, and even directed my course in life.
One powerful time I felt the protection of angels happened a few days before we moved to Thailand. My wife and I sat at a red light. The light turned green and I pulled into the intersection. I saw the car out of the corner of my eye barreling toward us stopping a few inches away…close enough for me to see the whites of their eyes. The only explanation I had for how the car stopped before slamming into us—a powerful angel’s protection.
Another time that I believe that I interacted with an angel was very random. Danielle and I were eating on the patio of a fast-food mexican restaurant. A man who looked like his last bath had been several days before had what might have been most of his possessions delicately balanced on him as he picked up his bicycle. Then he lost his balance. We sat just a few feet from him. I couldn’t pretend that I didn’t see him.
I jumped up and helped him regain his balance and get on his bicycle. He thanked me and handed me his business card! We exchanged several emails over the next few months in which he gave me much-needed encouragement. I often have wondered if he was really an angel.
My favorite story though is when I met Danielle. I was a youth pastor at a small church in North Austin, in my mid-twenties with no real promising options for a serious girlfriend much less marriage much to the dismay of my mother.
Danielle lived a few blocks from this church. Many events in her life left her searching for answers, and one day while running in the neighborhood she dropped by the church to see if they had any Wednesday night meetings. Her first interaction left her more confused, even angry, but on her way out of the church building a young woman stopped her. It was only because of this young woman who Danielle even came back later that night for a Wednesday night dinner and prayer meeting.The young women was at that meeting that night and sat with Danielle.
Danielle ended up attending that small church. We began to date and eventually became engaged. Danielle never remembers seeing that young woman that convinced Danielle to come back after that day. About one year later Danielle and I were eating dinner with the pastor and his wife. The pastor’s wife asked Danielle about how she began attending their church.
After hearing Danielle’s story, she asked more about the young woman. Danielle described her in more detail to which the pastor’s wife replied that she couldn’t think of anyone in their church that fit that description. This was a church of less than 200 regular attendees, so she probably did know everyone.
Her next comment was that she must have been an angel! I wholeheartedly agree.
God knew that I needed to meet this young woman named Danielle so that she could become my wife. So, I believe He sent that angel to direct not only Danielle’s path that day, but ours together for years to come.
Yes, I know angels have protected me, encouraged me, and directly guided me. So when my son asks me to ask God to send some angels to watch over him at night, now you know why I don’t bat an eye.