One of these days a new computer icon will replace the Help resource; with a flutter of cyber wings this electronic genie will encourage the keyboard novice to at least give Angel a try. Television moguls have already exploited angels for entertainment, and script writers have created brash/coy, flamboyant/humble, or wise/confused angel personalities, as the story-line directs. We regret that God’s holy angels have been prostituted to bolster network ratings, leaving only Bible readers with the authentic (God’s own) version of “guardian angels.”
Let’s put aside the glitz for a few moments with the truth. First of all, angels were not created for human entertainment. They are charged with a serious calling: to Help in preserving God’s children amid the dangers of earthly life, as Psalm 91 reminds us: “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” We recall that our Savior’s resolve to maintain His course of self-sacrifice was strengthened by this assurance. Since all His ways were dedicated in humble self-denial to procure the salvation of sinners, He could draw upon the support of the holy angels. His heavenly helpers were ready and willing, as the account in Matthew 4 asserts: ” . . . and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.”
The guardian angels, humble servants as they are, often come and go unnoticed. That’s the way it was when Elisha received heavenly protection against the king of Syria (2 Kgs. 6:16-17), at least until the servant needed his fears allayed by seeing them with his own eyes. The angel that shut the mouths of the lions for Daniel’s protection (Dan. 6:22) seems to have come and gone rather privately. In Herod’s jail, Peter’s guardian angel carried out his work so well that the guards never awakened, and even Peter thought he was dreaming a vision. When cousin Lot and family had been hand-delivered from the fallout at Sodom and Gomorrah, the conscientious angels promptly disappeared (Gen. 19). In other words, angels don’t hang around for acclaim, for they desire only to serve God and God’s children. Their attention is so keenly attuned to their great privilege of service that Jesus pictures the angels being constantly on red alert, awaiting the nod from our Father to intervene in our next moment of crisis (Mt. 18:10).
Your guardian angel has carried out such missions in your life, and so has mine. An elderly gentleman has been known to relate one such experience he had as a teenager. It seems that he and his younger brother had missed the morning school bus, so Dad let them use the family Plymouth to get to the local Lutheran high school. It was still dark on that rainy November morning when the angel got his assignment to intervene at the junction of the town road with the county trunk that would take them south into the city.
Our young driver came to a full stop at the intersection, looked left and right, saw no headlights, shifted into first to cross the north-bound lane, intending then to hang a left to go south. At that moment the steering wheel was so forcibly torn from the driver’s grip and the car was directed into such a very sharp left turn that they didn’t get as far as the south-bound lane at all, but had been turned into the wrong lane (OH! NO!). Our young man, struggling with all his strength, was utterly unable to get that perverse steering wheel to straighten out . . . until – – WHOOSSHH – – a car traveling above the speed limit with no headlights and no horn of warning sizzled through the intersection on the south-bound lane and disappeared in the spray.
“Did you see that guy coming?” “Nope.” “Neither did I.” What had prevented a horrendous collision right in the middle of that intersection? What saved the two boys plus whoever was in that speeding car? Just an angel taking control of the steering wheel for one or two seconds to leave a little passing space on the highway. They drove the rest of the way to school in awed silence, each realizing that the near miss had been no accident at all.
They had learned first-hand something very wonderful about guardian angels. I know. I was there.
–Paul R. Koch