Do you remember the story of Elisha and his servant?
The king of Syria was warring against Israel, but Elisha was warning the king of Israel concerning all of the plans of the Syrian king. It was so bad that one of the Syrians — in answer to the question of who among them might be a traitor — said, "Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom." (2 Kings 6:12 NLT)
As a result of this prophet's insight, the king of Syria set out to kill Elisha. Finding that Elisha was in Dothan, he sent his army to surround the city and take Elisha. Elisha's servant rose up early in the morning and saw the surrounding army. He rushed to his master and cried, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" To which the prophet replied those famous lines, "Do not fear, those who are with us are more than those who are with them." (2 Kings 6:16) Following this report from his servant, Elisha prays that God will open the eyes of the servant. When God does answer Elisha's prayer, the servant sees that the mountain was full of the "horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha." (2 Kings 6:17)
Open our eyes!
That is a much needed prayer today, isn't it? We are so surrounded by the armies of the world that in our blindness, we fail to see the angelic army which God generously supplies to surround and protect His children. Our rational minds tend to only believe those things we can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Yet the unseen is still far greater than the seen and "those who are with us" are still "more than those who are with them."
There is that fascinating verse in Matthew that gives us just a hint of personal angels. "Beware that you don't despise a single one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father." (Matthew 18:10)
Do our childhood angels drop us at age 12? I do not know, but it doesn't seem likely. Regardless of our interpretation of this verse, there can be no doubt that the mighty force of God still maintains vigil over His children.
Paul prayed for the Ephesians that "the eyes of your hearts may be enlightened." (Ephesians 1:18 NIV) Perhaps that might also be proper prayer for us in this day of darkness. God is still active in our world: we just need to open our eyes.
I love the often quoted writing of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it and pluck the blackberries.
Ask God to open your eyes, then take off your shoes; we have spent enough time eating the blackberries!