Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Are Angels Always Hovering Nearby, On Guard to Protect Us from Danger?

A college coed was studying late one night at the campus library of a school here in Texas. She had lost track of time and now had emerged from the building in the wee hours of the morning, alone on a pitch-black night. There were two paths that led to her dormitory: the half-mile walk along well-lighted streets, and the shortcut through a secluded part of town. She was exhausted and desperately in need of some sleep if she had any hope of being alert for her eight a.m. exam the following day. So despite being warned by campus officials not to walk alone at night along unpaved routes—“the woods” as everyone called that area—she pointed herself toward the shortcut and took off.

My friend John Bisagno, pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church for three decades, knows this girl and her family and says they are devoted Christ followers. This is why he wasn’t surprised to learn that the young woman prayed a prayer even as she struck out on the ill advised path, asking God to send his angels to protect her as she walked. It seems God heard her prayer and, regarding the deployment of his angels, agreed to do just that.

As the young woman made her way to her dorm, she spotted a burly man a few paces ahead of her, his back leaning against an overgrown tree. The man looked “vicious,” she would later say, and as she neared him, she noticed her heart rate skyrocketing and her breath falling short. She quickened her pace, kept her eyes directly in front of her, and continued on her way, thankful that after she’d passed the man, she heard no footsteps except her own. A few minutes later, she had reached her dorm room and climbed into bed.

The next day, a group meeting was called for all of the women living in this particular dormitory, and once everyone was convened, the meeting coordinator asked the group if anyone had walked through the woods the previous night and seen anyone there. Our young woman raised her hand and was asked to stay after the meeting was dismissed. She would learn from the campus police that there had been a rape in the area the previous night, and that they needed her help in identifying the suspect—a big guy, a loner, a troubled soul.

A detective from the local police department escorted the young woman to the police station, where a lineup of eight men had been assembled before her. She immediately spotted the man she’d seen by the tree and told the detective so. After the men had been excused, the woman made an unusual request. “May I speak to him?” she asked the detective, “the guy I saw in the woods?”

I feel sure this small-town detective violated all sorts of protocol when he granted the young woman her request, but moments later there she was, face-to-face with a man who was about to be indicted for rape. With the boldness of a lion, she looked into his eyes and said, “Help me understand something. You saw me walking right by you last night, and you did nothing. Why didn’t you attack me? Why did the other girl suffer, and yet you let me stroll on by?”

The man looked incredulous. “Attack you,” he said with a sputtered laugh, “with that big dude by your side?”

This real-life account raises a few issues as it relates to divine protection. First among them: Was that an angel who accompanied the young woman home? And if so, was that the girl’s guardian angel—divine protection assigned specifically to her? And if so, do all of us get guardian angels assigned to us, so that we too never walk alone?

During construction of Prestonwood’s current worship facility, while hundreds upon hundreds of men and women worked diligently to complete a major chunk of our church’s massive roof, a worker lost his footing, his anchor gave way, and he plummeted thirty-five feet to the ground. And yet he did not die. Again, I ask you, was it an angel who broke his fall? His guardian angel? Do you and I get this level of protection as well?

When I was three years old, I was sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car, accompanying my mom to pick up my brother from school. For a whole series of ridiculous reasons, I accidentally opened the car door while Mom was doing thirty-five or forty miles per hour down the main thoroughfare in our town and flipped myself out of the car. Not only did I suffer no injuries, I actually remember the strange sensation of landing on a pillow as my body came to a stop. Asphalt is not made of goose down, you know. How do you explain something like this? An angel? A guardian angel? One of a whole host of guardians assigned to every woman, man, and (impetuous) child?

What We Know for Sure

If you believe the Bible, you will believe in angels and that they are engaged in our lives. While there is much we can’t be certain of as it relates to the who and the how of supernatural protection, the fact that we are divinely protected as believers is indisputable. So what can you take to the bank regarding angelic guardianship? Three things—the ABCs of divine protection, you might say. For those who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, protection is available, protection is beneficial, and protection is constant.

Excerpt from Angels: Who They Are, What They Do, and Why It Matters by Jack Graham. Copyright June 2016, Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission. 

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