Authored by Dan Roselle
The Bible talks a lot about angels appearing to people in times of trouble, or to deliver important messages, or to protect them from harm or danger. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an angel, but in my adult years there have been times when I have felt an angelic presence. And throughout my life there have been many occasions where I believe that I was miraculously protected from danger or fatal accidents. To start with, shortly after my birth it was discovered that I was blind in one eye, and this probably added to the various accidents I had throughout my life.
On my second birthday, the milkman delivered a bottle of chocolate milk for me. This might betray my age, but it was still common at that time to have a milkman drive around the neighborhood and deliver glass bottles of milk. So on this morning, I ran barefoot out to the front porch and excitedly picked up the milk, and being a little fella and not so steady on my feet or able to pick up heavy things like this, I promptly dropped the bottle right on my foot. That memorable day began with a trip to the ER, one of the many in the years to come. Fortunately, it was only my toe that needed stitches.
Only a couple years later, my slightly older brother and his neighbor built a small go-kart out of scraps of wood. It wasn’t anything fancy, but when they wouldn’t let me ride it, I lost my temper and picked up a wooden contraption and ran after them yelling, “I’m going to get you!” However, I was the one who “got it” as I tripped and fell face first on a nail. Miraculously the nail narrowly avoided my good eye and pierced me just below it. My mother freaked, as you can imagine, and being that my dad was a cop at the time, I got a special ride to the ER in a police car. When the doctors saw me, they were amazed; had the nail been even a fraction higher, it would have gone into my eye socket and probably blinded my good eye. Thank God for those angels who watched over me. I was soon to be called “Scarface” from all the various cuts and scrapes I received in my early years.
Shortly after starting school, I was in the school parking lot, leaving my parents’ car, heading to the school building, when I walked between two teen boys playing catch. However, these boys weren’t throwing the baseball high in the air for the other to catch; they were practicing their pitching and throwing the ball as if they were trying to strike out a batter. As luck would have it, I came out from between two parked cars at the exact moment that the strike-out pitch met my face. Not only did it knock me down and out, but it left the imprint of the ball threads on my face for a very long time. I didn’t need stitches, but my parents were concerned that I might have had a concussion or sustained internal head injuries. Thankfully, with God’s angels working overtime, I survived and was back to my normal, rambunctious self within a couple of weeks.
Then it was on my grandfather’s farm where I got hit by a rock from “outer space.” Well, that’s what my brothers and cousins called it, because none of them threw it (yeah, riiiight!). There were about 10 of us boys, me being 8 and the youngest, standing around a small pond with baby green frogs in it. We were throwing small rocks, more like gravel, at the frogs in the pond when … you guessed it, I got hit from behind with a huge rock. This time the rock hit my head just above my ear and knocked me into the pond. I bled profusely. It meant another trip to ER. Again, I was spared from a more serious injury or concussion and came away with just several stitches.
Fortunately, by my teen years I had become more careful; however, I was still in for some hairy experiences. When I was 17,when I was driving home after dark with four friends, we stopped at a traffic signal next to a bus on my right. I pulled out when the light turned green and noticed that the bus wasn’t pulling out, but a second later I knew why. A drunk driver coming from the right (my blind eye side) ran the red light and hit my car broadside. This was in the days before seat belts were factory installed or required, and so my friends and I were thrown around at impact and the car was totaled. I’m amazed that all of us escaped uninjured.
When I was 19, after I had become a Christian, I was driving an overloaded pickup truck late one night, making my regular weekly trip taking supplies to a mission center. I had gotten a later start than I had wanted to, and the regular two-and-a-half-hour trip from the city seemed like it was lasting much longer. The highway was under construction, so traffic was diverted to the two-lane frontage road, with no shoulder. Fortunately there was not much traffic that night. My traveling partner had already fallen asleep and I was trying hard to stay awake for the remaining 15 or 20 minutes to my destination. It could have only been a second or two that my eyes closed when I suddenly awoke finding myself going off the road and skidding, coming to a stop halfway off the opposite side of the road and sticking halfway out into the other lane. I suddenly saw the lights of a semi truck coming right for us as he honked his horn to warn me. I put my foot on the gas pedal and peeled out of there as fast as I could. I’m sure I scared the truck driver, who didn’t know what I was going to do, and I don’t even know if I did the right thing, but thank the Lord I got out of the path of the truck just in time. This is when I started to get serious about being more careful and prayerful in what I did, asking the Lord’s help and for His angels to watch over me.
However, even in my adult years I still had plenty of accidents. Just a few years ago after accidentally cutting my leg with a chainsaw, I got pretty desperate to know what was going on. Why was I so prone to dangerous accidents? On one hand, I knew that part of the reason was most likely due to my one blind eye, as it meant I lacked depth perception and couldn’t always tell how far or near objects were; and perhaps I am just naturally a bit clumsier than the next guy. Even when I would take these factors into account and be extra slow and careful, like in this situation where I had prayed specifically for safety, still, some accidents would happen. When I asked the Lord why this was, I was reminded of a familiar scripture: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you … that your faith may not fail.”1 Then I realized that another part of the reason for some of my accidents was due to the spiritual warfare.
The Lord said that He had plans for me and that all through my life the enemy of my soul had been trying to hinder those plans, even though he couldn’t completely stop it. Although I had suffered many accidents, it was surely God’s angels watching over me that had kept me from even worse danger. In the past few years I have found myself praying a whole lot more about the things I do, like when I use power tools or go on a drive or even just on a walk, as I am desperate to fulfill God’s plan in my life.
Each one of us has a purpose to fulfill in our lives, a purpose that only God knows. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to look ahead to the future and know what we’re going to do or how something is going to play out in our lives. Who knows what paths our life may take? What we can do, however, is pray more. We can pray for God’s protection, pray that our decisions and our choices will be the right ones, and yes, you can ask God for angels to watch over you, too.
There are many times in the Bible where an “angel of the Lord” appeared to someone, or led someone out of danger, or gave food to someone in need, or gave wise counsel to a leader and even helped them escape prison. I’ve included several references below of a few of these accounts; I encourage you to read them.
Angels can still help you in times of need, too. Have you had an experience where you knew or felt that angels were watching over you? Share your stories in the comments!
[IN A BOX]
Two angels warn Lot—Genesis 19:1–20
Angel talks to Gideon—Judges 6:11–24
Angel protects Daniel—Daniel 6:1–24
Angel frees Peter from Jail—Acts 12:1–19
Angel directs Philip—Acts 8:26–29
[END OF BOX]
1 Luke 22:31–32 NIV.
Read by Stephen Larriva. Music by Simon W. Copyright © 2012 by The Family International