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Throughout history humans have wondered whether they are the only intelligent beings in this universe. One of the most recent scientific attempts is the search for extraterrestrial life.
If life is out there, will it prove friend or foe? The Bible answers this question with a resounding “Yes.”
Who are these cosmic creatures? They are called angels. Belief in angels is found in the history of all nations.
The Bible says that angels, like everything else in this universe, are created by God. God tells Job that the angels sang their joy while God created the earth (Job 38:1-7). Angels have separate and individual personalities. We read about Gabriel announcing the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus (Luke 1), and Gabriel gives the prophet Daniel a vision from God (Daniel 8 & 9). Satan was a powerful angel that fell from favor while trying to be like God (Isaiah 14:12-15), and Michael is the archangel in charge of God’s army to fight against Satan’s evil army (Revelation 12:7).
Today many people are most fascinated with angels because the stories of unexplainable miracles are so common.
For example, in April 1998, a series of tornadoes ripped through the southern part of the United States. A day after one of the Storms had hit the National Public Radio program “All Things Considered” aired a story about a congregation called the Church of the Open Door. Their church had been destroyed the day previous. Terrified children had been in a choir rehearsal at the time of the storm.
When the pastor saw the storm coming, he quickly gathered all the children in the churches main hallway. There they huddled together as the winds ripped the church apart. In an effort to calm the children’s fears, the pastor led them in singing, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Although some children were hurt, miraculously no one was killed.
The most penetrating part of the broadcast was the report of a little girl who said, “While we were singing, I saw angels holding up the hallway. But the winds were so strong that the angels shouted, “We need help!” and some more angels came to help.”
That little girl will never forget what she saw, and she knows that angels are watching over the little children, and that they are precious in Jesus’ sight. It does seem that children have a special ability to see angels do God’s work. We could explain it as an imaginary friend, but the stories are told with such honesty and innocence that it makes more sense to believe they saw what they say they saw.
There are many other stories of angels that adults share as well. In the book “Rustle of Angels” Jeanette Gable tells her experience. She was very fearful about her upcoming surgery.
She cried out in prayer as she shook violently, “Lord, I can accept anything you have in store for me. Just please give me peace and calm.”
Over and over she repeated this prayer for peace. Then she felt a hand pressing into the hollow between her front shoulder and collar bone. It was a firm reassuring touch, but no one was there. No human could have touched her. It was then she realized her prayer had been answered because all her shaking stopped. When the doctor came in she was at peace, and the surgery went well. God comforted his child as He said He would.
God loves us, and His angels are just one more tool He uses to bring us into a personal relationship with Him. It is important to remember that we are never to worship angels (Colossians 2:18), but celebrate the miracles God does in our lives, and give Him all the glory.
If you have an angel story I hope you will tell someone, and always give glory to God.
Al Earley is the pastor at La Grange Presbyterian Church. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.