Do you believe in angels? I do. Have you ever been led by an angel? I have. Many times. Let me share a few simple stories that profoundly impact my belief in angels.
Mom and her little girl
On the way home from a Bible study when our daughter was almost three years old, I looked in the backseat to see how she was doing – and she wasn’t there! I turned all the way around and saw an open door. With all calmness, I said to the driver, “Please stop the car; Caroline has fallen out!” It was raining, and we were in the city so we weren’t going fast. I jumped out and saw Caroline hanging onto the handle of the swinging car door with her knees pulled up to her chest. She had not touched the pavement! I checked her out and we got back in the car. Then she began to cry – not because she was hurt; she didn’t have a scratch—but because her clothes were wet from the rain. Oh, I had believed in angels before, but that day I believed in angels again!.
Mom and her two little ones
It was a lovely fall day. I was in the middle of a seven hour drive from Detroit to West Virginia to visit my parents. My five-year old daughter was in the back seat reading her books to me. My infant son was in the car bed secured beside me on the bench seat in the front (would not be permitted today!). Suddenly the car jolted. As I pulled off to the side of the road, there was a tin-can sound banging beneath me. I was clueless. Carefully, I opened my car door, got out, and bent down to look under the car but saw nothing. As I walked around to the other side, I saw it laying a little distance behind me. I knew enough to know it was the muffler. In those days, we did not have a phone to carry with us. What to do? Pray! Father, help! Show me what to do. Immediately a driver pulled off the road in front of me. A disheveled old man looking every bit of 80+ years old, tall and lanky. At that point, he looked into my car and saw my little ones. Without question, he knew my predicament and said: “I’ll tie it up for you ma’am and follow you to the service station up the road.” My mind was saying he wasn’t strong enough to lie on the ground and scoot up under the car to make that connection, but he brought some wire from his trunk and went to work. By then his female companion, looking every bit as old as he, had come to join us and talk to me while he was scooting under the car.
I was still in disbelief, feeling so indebted to this man who was obviously older than my grandfather, and praying he wouldn’t hurt himself. It occurred to me I didn’t have any extra cash—only enough for the trip. I told this to the lady and gave her paper and pencil from my purse to write down their address (assuming they were a married couple) so I could send them some money later. She refused, saying “Oh no! He’s not doing this for money. He just sees a lady in distress and wants to help.” I begged her to at least give me the address so I could send a thank-you card later assuring her my husband would feel greatly indebted to them for stopping to help. At last, to shut me up, she scribbled down a name and address in another state. He completed the task and told me to follow them to the gas station and the attendant would tell me what I had to do.
At the station, he simply waved good-bye and they continued on down the road. I explained to the attendant what happened and he got down under the car to check it out then allowed me to use their phone to call my husband. I told Julius what had happened and put the attendant on the phone. He reported to my husband that the muffler was secure and would hold up just fine until I got to my parents’ house. I breathed a sigh of relief, thanked him for his help (with no charge even for the telephone call), and got back on the road.
A week later when I got back to Michigan, my husband and I wrote a thank-you note and put $20 with it and mailed it to the address the lady had given me. Within a few days, the note came back to us in the mail stamped: “No such address.” We double checked the address she had given me with what I had written on the note. Correct. We looked at each other and knew immediately that those two were angels sent by God on assignment that day—and I and my little children were the targets.
Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it (Heb. 13:2).
Many times we write people off because of how they look, dress, or behave. In no way did this couple give any possible hints or clues that they could be angels. I’m convinced we spiritually discern between their actual form and how they have appeared. Their true and actual form has not been fully revealed to us. Many stories have been penned—both truth and fiction—about angels. And I’m quite sure those of you who are reading this now have already recalled times where you were convinced you were helped by intervention from angels—even though perhaps unaware of it at the time. I choose to believe.
Be careful how you treat people. You just might be unaware. They might be angels disguised as people.
My two little ones were in the car with me as we headed a couple of miles from our house to the church where would meet dad for lunch. Just before the railroad tracks, the back, driver’s side, tire blew out. It was flat! We had no choice but to leave the car and walk the rest of the way. Only about a mile, but it was a challenge—walking on the narrow gravel shoulder along the road and across the tracks. I had to carry the one-year old while the six-year old held tightly to my hand as we sang loudly: “All night; all day. Angels watching over me, my Lord!” That day no car stopped to see if they could help, but I’m convinced that my little daughter, as well as I, were acknowledging that the angels were accompanying us to the safety of Daddy’s arms. I choose to believe.
Near midnight, after visiting my husband in a hospital for several hours, I left to discover a heavy snowfall and no footprints to follow. In those days there was no car alarm button on the keys. Prayer led me to find my car in the parking lot. As I cleaned the snow off the windows, I asked the Lord to get me to the exit and show me which of two routes to travel home. Right then, a little yellow Volkswagen appeared in front of me. Its tail lights were shining brightly and since there were no visible car tracks on the road, I just followed that car. It proceeded steadily at 30 MPH and led me from one highway to another for 25 miles—right to my street. There it paused momentarily while I turned and went to the second driveway—my home. I knew for a fact that the Lord had sent an “angel out before me to keep me in the way and to bring me into the place…” (Ex.20:23). I choose to believe.
My Perspective on Angels
The above stories don’t even scratch the surface of the numerous personal stories I could tell about how angels led and protected me at various times in my life—some of them even when I was seriously injured in accidents, one of which was thousands of miles away in South Africa in 1999. I lived to tell about them, and to me that is proof in itself of “ministering angels.” I choose to believe.
In South Africa with Ruth Nortje, my hostess and the one driving when we were broadsided very close to her address after she picked me up at the airport. You can see the injuries on her face. I had a broken wrist and five broken ribs. I had been invited to speak to a group of professionals. Where were my angels? My response: I was there to share some specific biblical principals so I was on holy ground … and for sure there were angels all around. Although experiencing tremendous pain when getting up and down, it did not interfere as I fulfilled my responsibilities.
There comes a theological argument at this point. How, when, where and to whom does God choose to send His ministering angels? Why not in every situation? Why did my wonderful Christian loved ones die in accidents? Where were the angels at that moment? I do not have the answer to these questions. It is only that I give God thanks, praise and all the glory for those times when I was aware of their presence.
What the Bible teaches us about Angels
Throughout the Bible, we read about ministering angels who lead, guide, protect and strengthen God’s people. “For He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psa.91:11). “But … the angels … are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb.1:13-14).
Jesus said, “I am the Way …” God says that the angel will keep us on the Way and bring us into a place—a place that He has prepared, a place of victory, a place of restoration, a secret place of the Most High—under the shelter of the Almighty (Psa.91:11).
Apostle Peter freed by angels
The Apostle Peter had experiences with angels. One specific account in Acts 12 tells how the angel of the Lord led him. He had been apprehended and put in jail with sixteen soldiers placed around him to keep him from escaping. In addition, he was bound with chains and there were other guards placed at the doors. Obviously, his enemies wanted to be sure that he could not escape. “The angel shall go before thee and keep thee in the way…”
Do you ever feel like you have guards all around you? Like your hands and feet are tied? You feel bound and helpless against the obstacles and circumstances in your life? Peter was in that situation; he knew he needed help and he trusted the Lord to send it. So he went to sleep!
Please note in verse five that while he was sleeping and allowing his body to be restored, the church was praying for him without ceasing. When we see a brother or sister in bondage, we need to pray until he/she is delivered.
“And behold the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison; and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, ‘Arise up quickly.’ And his chains fell off from his hands” (Acts 12:7).
The angel of the Lord showed up. The light shined on him in his bondage. The angel smote (slapped) Peter. That’s the beginning of cutting off the bondage. When it happens to you, it feels like you are being slapped around when really it is the angel of the Lord trying to get your attention. Peter obeyed the voice of the angel and got up. Immediately his chains fell off.
“Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him.” (Acts 12:8).
The angel didn’t say “Come here, and I will dress you.” No. He commanded Peter to dress himself and to follow him. And Peter did! He obeyed the voice of the angel!
Peter had spent time with Jesus and had been aware of the angels ministering to Him. I believe Jesus had taught Peter about the angels and therefore he just knew to obey. “Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.” (Acts 12:9-10).
The angel led Peter out of bondage, through two wards and through the iron gate. Iron stands for judgment and the Lord says that for iron He will give us Silver (redemption!) (Isa. 60:17) . The iron gate could not hold him; all the judgment against Peter just melted away. The angel had come to lead him out of prison. He led him into the city. I believe this is symbolic of Zion, the city of our God. And he led him right through a street—onto Praise Avenue! At that moment, the angel left because Peter knew where he was and could again go free.
Angels and Us today
I wonder how often the Lord has sent angels to lead us out of bondage and we didn’t recognize them. We just thought they were a yellow car, a unique circumstance, another person. But now we are free. We know where we are. Jesus said, “Blessed are you who believe and have not seen” (Jn. 20:29). The angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to us as an heir of salvation (Heb.1:14).
You are not fighting a battle single-handedly. There is a host of angels encamped around about those who love the Lord. Prepare for an angel of the Lord to lead you, to protect you on the way, and to bring you to a place of victory. “All night, all day, angels watching over me, my Lord.” I choose to believe!
The Alabaster Box, Vol 19 No 05 (2005) © C. Yvonne Karl
Reprinted in MUSINGS, December 12, 2020.
Feel free to reprint as is.
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