Monday, January 2, 2012

On Angels’ Wings

 “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 91:11 (KJV)

It makes me very sleepy to drive.  I get under the wheel and become very relaxed, and before I know it, I am very drowsy.  I was that way tonight.  Kevin was really tired, so I was driving while he slept beside me in the front seat, and Zach was sound asleep in the back.  I was feeling like my eyelids couldn’t stay open another minute, so I tried several things to stay awake.  My Aunt Fran says if you are sleepy under the wheel and you lift your left leg, it is humanly impossible to go to sleep.  When I tried it, I found that she is absolutely right….for as long as I could stand to keep my left leg off the floor!  Then, of course, it became very heavy, dropped, and I was back to square one.

I played a new CD Kevin got me for Christmas, tried to listen real close to the uplifting, encouraging words and focus on them to stay awake.  But, I find Fernando Ortega’s music very soothing, so that only made me sleepier.  I tried sitting up straight as an arrow and moving around in my seat….both of them helped…for a moment, then I would feel the lull again.  The traffic was very heavy on the interstate…it must be from all of the holiday travelers returning home, so that didn’t help my anxiety about falling asleep under the wheel. 

I began to call upon the Lord, begging Him to keep me awake.  I asked Him to carry us safely home some way, somehow.  I felt I just couldn’t make it, and my heart went out to Kevin so much, I didn’t want to wake him.  I know how hard he has been working…such long hours, then a busy weekend with company, and some travel, too.  It hit me that both Kevin’s and Zachary’s lives were in my hands.  What if I failed?  What if I gave in to the strong temptation to close my eyes….just for an instant?  Then what?  I started praying harder and pleading with the Lord for His mercy.  

Before I knew it, our road was coming into view….God had brought us safely home…once again….on the wings of angels.  I just know it.  There is no other explanation.  I hardly remember driving some of the miles we drove today.  I believe God just took over.  This is not the first time.  He’s done it before, when I felt I could not make it another second.  I am convinced that there have been many, many times in my life that the only explanation for my survival, the only logical answer for me still being here….was because God commissioned angels to keep me in all my ways. 

Years ago, when my Uncle Donnie lived in California, he was driving on a narrow two-lane road with 20-30 foot drop-offs on both sides and there were no guard rails.  He said he became very sleepy, and the next thing he knew, he woke up to find that his car was on a bridge scraping the railing in the left hand lane!!  What kept him from veering off the road before he made it to the bridge?  What kept another car from hitting him head-on while he was driving in the wrong lane?  It had to be angels…standing between him and danger, shielding him, directing his car, and then waking him up just in time.

We could all tell stories about times we “just missed” an accident or made other narrow escapes.  The other day it hit me that there are probably more scenarios of God’s protection and divine intervention that I do NOT know about than the ones that I do.  Psalm 34:7 (KJV) says, “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”  Isn’t it wonderful to know that we, as God’s children, automatically have the providential care of His angels in place for us at all times?  How many times have they had to step in and fight and go to war in order for our lives to be spared from certain death?

After we got safely home tonight, I thought of how that feeling of responsibility came over me when I was driving and Kevin and Zach were sleep.  I began to think of how it is the same way, spiritually.  All of us affect our spouses, our children, other family, friends, and loved ones.  There is someone depending on us to be faithful to God.  There is someone counting on us to stay “awake” spiritually, be diligent about our prayer life, and stay in close communion with our Heavenly Father.  The ones who look to us for spiritual guidance and who need to be able to depend on our faithfulness need to know that we won’t drop the ball or fall asleep on the job.  Our spouses, our children, and others need to see stability in our lives and in our Christian walk.  We might be tempted to think they don’t notice and our role is unimportant and inconsequential, but we would be very mistaken to think this way. 

Kevin’s Dad tells the story of when he was in the armed forces.  One of his posts of duty was to guard the trash.  It seemed like a useless waste of time, and while others were out performing grand feats of courage, he was left minding the garbage.  But, he was faithful.  He watched the trash…diligently and faithfully.  An enemy could have been lurking in the shadows or could have made an attempt to infiltrate the ranks through the dumpster.  So, even though it appeared to be a complete waste, it was his charge, and he took it seriously.  His diligence kept the area safe and clear of intruders and other harmful threats.  It was such a boring job!  It seemed of such insignificance!  He must have gotten very, very sleepy.  What if he had nodded off?  What if there actually had been an enemy who was watching and saw him let his guard down and fall asleep, and then chose to pounce and make his move?  What about the other soldiers who were counting on him to stay awake? 

It would have been so easy to just close my eyes under the wheel tonight.  I was SO tired and sleepy.  But, thank God, He helped me stay vigilant and watchful and alert, and He spared my life and the lives of the ones who trusted me, to make it safely home. 

It would be so easy for all of us to let down our guard and fall asleep, spiritually.  Sometimes we feel like our labors are in vain and we should just slack off….just a bit.  Maybe miss a few days of prayer and stop reading our Bible so much.  The old saying says, “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.”  I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t take seven days without prayer to make me weak…if I miss ½ day or so and I haven’t taken time to really get alone with God and seek His face for the grace I need, I begin to feel very faint, spiritually.  If I fail and let up and get discouraged, how will it affect my husband, child, and others? 

Just as it just wasn’t worth even one wink of sleep under the wheel, it is not worth one moment of neglect of my spiritual life.  There is too much at stake.  It is just too important to stay close to God.  It means just that much.  “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 (KJV)  Let’s stay awake, my friend!  One day “due season” will come, and we will be carried on the wings of our heavenly home!

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