Many of us believe in angels.
More commonly, angels intervening in a situation and saving someone from danger or death.
Car accidents, a house fire, or a bullet that just missed the heart, to name a few.
In the recent church shooting which murdered 27 people on a Sunday morning, at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the question may arise, where were the angels?
The truth is, angels are not always protecting or saving people from death, are they? Which in turn, we equate God is not always protecting or saving people from death.
Otherwise, everyone, certainly the devoted Christian, would be protected.
At least that’s how our mind might work.
I have always felt badly for those left behind after a tragedy because the consensus of angels getting the credit for a miracle (sent by God, of course). It could make those who lost their loved one think they weren’t good enough, they didn’t pray enough, they didn’t have enough faith, or that God does not care about them or love them.
Those can be very painful thoughts. Thoughts that some carry throughout their lifetime.
Thoughts that are not true.
When I lost my oldest son at 24 years old, I wondered, where were the angels?
Even though there will always be a part of my heart that feels like it is not beating, I had to come to terms with my faith or I would have wanted to die, too. A mother wants to know her kids are safe and where they are. When your child dies, no matter how old he or she is, you cannot fix it. I was suspended in a place unknown and unfamiliar.
I had to figure some things out. If I had stayed focused with the lack of angelic protection for my son, I would have been miserable all these years. Faith is believing what you cannot tangibly see and I had to either believe God’s promises were true or not in order to go on.
Today more than ever, people “believe God” for healing and miracles. Sermons are preached of doing greater works than Jesus and faith that moves mountains. People even pray for God to dispatch angels.
How did suffering people throughout the centuries view this message? What did they do when this was not so prevalent as it is today? People who did not have all the bells and whistles, entitlements, access to one-click purchases, retirement funds, and more?
I think they embraced what the bible says, they “longed for a better place, that is, a heavenly one”.
On a good day, do we long for that better place?
How about on a bad day?
I believe in prayer. I think we should pray for healing and miracles and everything else that is good. I don’t believe we should sit back and settle.
If we have attributed angelic intervention to our circumstances (ultimately God’s intervention), we have to remember others do not have this same experience.
What they do have is something else I believe is valid and important to understand. It is rarely not shared with the testimonies of answered prayer, especially those with the acknowledgment of angelic activity. I mean, who wants to say what is not so wonderful to hear? Give me the answered prayer. The miracle.
Early on after Christopher’s death, I felt God in a way I had never felt before. Yes, I did stop eating on purpose. Yes, I did end up having anxiety attacks and needed medication.
But, God was showing me so much that brought comfort in a way that I think only those who have experienced immense suffering and grief understand.
Angels don’t just rescue us from physical danger.
They are sent by God as ministering spirits, just as God sent one to strengthen Jesus as he was suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane before the crucifixion.
Had I not walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I would not have known what it was like to not fear. I would not have experienced the comfort of God’s rod and staff. I would not have gotten stronger without God leading me to green pastures and still waters and eventually, seeing my soul restored.
People who have been to this valley have seen God in a way others have not. In the bible, Job suffered unimaginably in this valley, and at the end he said, I’ve heard of You [God] but now my eyes have seen you.
It is true, today, even the most devoted Christian can be caught up with here and now. God made us to live with eternity always within our view. When we don’t, we are missing something vital to the Christian life. Something that keeps us steady, anchored, and accepting of things gone wrong.
Living with an eternal view keeps things in perspective.
And perspective is exactly what we need when we ask, where were the angels?
Photo from: http://www.recorder.com/