This is an article from ten years ago. We are running it to get us into that Father's Day focus coming in a little over a month. During the next few weeks, we will be challenging folks to use Father's Day as an opportunity to help a ministry that provides the opportunity for babies to not only live to be born, but also find their ways into a home where there is both a mommy and daddy. The effort is called "Tied to Life" and done in partnership with Christian Homes and Family Services. Find out more about it here: http://www.christianhomes.com/tiedtolife/index.html
When our daughter Megan was born five years after her brother Zach, we were thrilled. We felt blessed and balanced — a son and a daughter. It doesn't get much better than that!
We had learned with Zach how important music was in the life of a child. So when Megan was a new baby, I sang to her every night I could. It was a special song taken from the book of Revelation, written by our good friend, Ken Young. "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty ..." It wasn't hard to sing to her while I rocked her to sleep — after all, I considered her one of God's greatest and most marvelous deeds. She heard my scratchy male voice sing because I knew that from the time she was 6 months old in the womb, she had heard her mom sing in church and speak during the day. I wanted her to grow up being comforted by her father's voice, too.
As Megan grew older, we moved her out of her baby bed into her "big girl's bed." Rather than sing, we played Michael Card's Sleep Sound in Jesus, I read Bible stories to her, and prayed with her every night. More and more often, she had trouble going to sleep. She kept saying that someone was in the room. That he had never hurt her, but that he was always there by her door. While he wasn't scary, he bothered her by standing there. She could point out clearly where he was.
Jesus had said, "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:10 NIV).The Holy Spirit reminds us, "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14). As worried parents, we asked her if she saw monsters in her dreams. But she didn't see the person she was describing in her room in her dreams. He was there, right by the door. She was adamant. She pointed to him.
For many nights, we sat in her room after she had gone to sleep trying to see shadows, reflections, ambient light filtering in, anything that might be making her see something on the wall. While she could clearly see this "person," we could never detect him or anything that she could be seeing. As she began to describe him, we were more and more convinced she was trying to describe an angel. She would tell us specifically what she saw and we would point to places on the wall that made no sense to us, but could be clearly seen by her.
One night, Donna sat down and talked with her about angels. "While we don't know a whole lot about them, Jesus tells us that little children have angels that are in the presence of God who watch over them. They take care and protect children because they are precious to God. Angels are servants to God's people to help them." One night, the three of us agreed that we would pray and ask the angel not to be visible anymore to Megan, but to still be present and not disappear from her life — to still watch over and protect her.
To this day, I'm not sure what we did was theologically correct in every detail. All I know is that from that night forward, Megan did not see that image again. Unlike many children, however, Megan has never been overly scared to sleep in a room by herself. In fact, she rather prefers it. Deep down, I believe all three of us were comforted in our faith that God's messenger servant was watching over her.
No one would suggest that our family would be called "angel people" — we're not caught up in all the angel hype, hysteria, fascination, and decorations. In fact, I've been very put off at times that it is so much easier for many people to acknowledge angels than to acknowledge God. I've been bothered by many others who find it easier to talk about angels than to talk about Jesus. Even more folks feel more free to talk about what angels did rather than recognize the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am very much aware of the problems the improper worship of angels caused in New Testament times. But one thing has stuck with me: the one person in our family who did have a fascination with angels in our family is the one Megan is most like, my grandmother.
I'm not quite sure what to make of this other than to say that I do believe that one of the many ways God's grace is placed in our lives is through his messenger servants, or what we call angels. They appear at crucial moments when God is working salvation for his people. They are there to rescue, comfort, and strengthen God's servants. They communicate God's will and carry out God's commands. They are the worship leaders of heaven. They are there at all the key turns in Jesus' earthly ministry, either to announce his triumphant glory or to comfort him in trouble. They watch over children and minister to those who are children of God. For a little while we will be lower than them, but one day we will be like them. These things are clearly announced in Scripture.
Deep down, however, in a place that daddies and little girls connect in a special way, I am also absolutely convinced that there is one who has guarded the door for my little girl while I was asleep. In a world gone crazy, a world where daddies of every age can't help but fear a little for their little girls, it is comforting to know that one of God's servants is watching over my girl when I can't.
I'd love to hear from you about this article on my blog. A couple of questions to consider:
- Do you have an angel story you would be willing to share?
- What Bible verse about angels means the most to you?