Proverbs 2:7-8 says, “ 7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
God is a protector. It is in His character and nature to protect those who follow Him. Psalm 121 mentions His guardianship of His people six times in eight verses. Certainly God also guards our hearts (emotions) and minds (thoughts) with His peace as well when we pray (Phil. 4:6-7).
One of the ways that God protects us is through the agency of His angels. They are messengers who are commanded by God to protect you. We don’t fully understand how they protect us, but it is clear from God’s word that part of their job description involves ministering and helping His people. Psalm 91:11 is one place in the Bible where we see this function mentioned. Some people talk about having a “guardian angel” who goes with them… but I don’t know if one is enough for some of us.
This past weekend our family rafted the Truckee River from Tahoe City to River Ranch. It is largely a peaceful float punctuated by a few rocky rapids that aren’t very challenging. If you asked me beforehand if the angels assigned to me would be working that day – I would have told you that they get today off. No problem. We’ve got this.
As we were finishing up the float, we were scooting down the last rapid as the river makes a turn and you get out of the river with your boat. One of the not-so-expert rafting crews in front of us ended up wedged on a rock in the middle of the rapid. When our boat tried to move around the other boat, the current took our boat into a hard collision, flipping our boat around so that my end (the back of the raft) hit the other boat. I shot under the water, only to come springing up in an instant and launching through the air. The next thing I realized was that I was underwater thinking, uh oh. I don’t know if it was a perfect backflip or not, but I can tell you that I landed on my feet, and ended up straddling a rock in semi shallow water. After pushing the boat off the rocks, our boat then was dislodged and finished the rapid.
I was standing in the middle of the rapid with hundreds of concerned onlookers watching this situation unfold. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to reassure my eight year old daughter that I was ok. Then I realized that the next boat was about to run me over. After playing dodgeball with that boat, I positioned myself feet first and floated the rest of the rapid – all the while praying really hard that I wouldn’t hit any rocks.
When I emerged from the water, I checked out my body – not a scratch to be found. My angels were working overtime. One was spotting me as my body flew through the air like a gymnast, making sure I would stick the landing. Another had scuba gear on, literally moving my feet around the sharp rocks, a third one had kept me from landing on a sharp rock right between my legs. 1 Samuel 2 says that He will guide the feet of His saints.
While I don’t fully understand how the angelic help us, I do believe what God’s Word says is true. I don’t blame angels for not doing their job when I get hurt, I simply appreciate the fact that I can almost always say, “that could have been so much worse!”
God is our protector. I don’t want to live my life foolishly, but I will live this life to the fullest experiencing adventure. So, go live out loud today. Go try something new, interesting, and exciting. Take a risk. When you do, God’s angels will get a workout protecting you!