Text by Henrylito D. Tacio
DO you believe in angels? “We not only live among men, but there are airy hosts, blessed spectators, sympathetic lookers-on, that see and know and appreciate our thoughts and feelings and acts,” admits Henry Ward Beecher.
“The angels,” explains John Calvin, “are the dispensers and administrators of the Divine beneficence toward us; they regard our safety, undertake our defense, direct our ways and exercise a constant solicitude that no evil befall us.”
Saint Francis de Sales says, “Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.” And Saint Thomas Aquinas believes, “An angel can illuminate the thought and mind of man by strengthening the power of vision.”
There is no definite number of angels recorded in the Holy Bible. Eileen Elias Freeman, in ‘The Angels’ Little Instruction Book,” pointed out: “Angels are all around us, all the time, in the very air we breathe.” George Bernard Shaw commented, “In heaven, an angel is nobody in particular.”
Perhaps, the number of angels might be compared with the number of stars in the universe, which means the number would run into the billions. Apostle John saw in a vision “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” — that equals 100 million and untold thousands besides.
The book of Daniel (7:10) recorded: “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.” And Revelation 5:11 stated: “Then I looked, and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.”
Interestingly, of all of the angels, Michael and Gabriel are given places of importance among angels in the ministry of God. Both Michael and Gabriel are mentioned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Michael, whose name means “who is like God,” has the rank of the archangel and is the defender of Israel, God’s chosen people. Gabriel, whose name means “mighty one of God,” is a special messenger of God. Satan, a fallen – evil angel is also mentioned by name.
Unknowingly, we can all be angels to one another. Joan Wester Anderson explains: “We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says go: ‘ask, and reach out.’ Be an answer to someone’s plea. You have a part to play. Have faith. We can decide to risk that He is indeed there, watching, caring, cherishing us as we love and accept love. The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.”
As a friend, you can be an angel, too. Do you know the reasons why? According to one poem, friends brighten our days “in all kinds of wonderful, magical ways.” Their thoughtfulness comes “as a gift from above,” and we feel we’re surrounded “by warm, caring love.” Friends fill our lonesome moments “with their laughter and fun.” They are considered angels “without any wings,” for they bring blessing to our lives “with the most precious things.”
James Russell Lowell once penned, “All God’s angels come to us disguised.” I am reminded of this quote after reading a story circulated on the internet. It goes this way: Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead, the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.
As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always what they seem.”
The next night the two angels came to rest at the house of a very poor but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning, the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears.
Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen? “The first man had everything, yet you helped him,” she accused. “The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”
“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it.
The older angel continued, “Then, last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren’t always what they seem.”
Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don’t turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You just might not know it until sometime later. After all, things aren’t always what they seem.
Have you ever seen an angel? One night, the king of Syria sent his army under cover of darkness with lots of chariots and horses and horsemen to surround the city and cut off all escape routes. When the prophet and his servant got up early the next morning and checked around outside, they discovered troops, horses, and chariots everywhere! The servant, obviously frightened, asked, “Now, what are we going to do?”
The prophet Elisha answered in so many words, “Don’t be afraid because our army is larger than theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, open his eyes and let him see.” And when the Lord had opened the young man’s eyes, he saw horses of fire and chariots of fire everywhere on the mountains surrounding the army which had surrounded them!
Have you ever seen an angel? Maybe you just need your eyes to be opened!