Guarded and Protected
Growing up, I shared a bedroom with two other sisters – one four years older and the other nearly seven years younger than me. My younger sister had the head of their bed set right behind mine, and of course, my bed head was metallic pipeline so allowed my sister to poke her hand through and pull my hair to irritate of course! (happened a lot)
The other thing I remember very vividly was a picture of my mothers’ hanging on the wall above said younger sisters’ bed. The picture was of an angel standing guard over a little boy and girl playing near a cliff edge! I always thought growing up that it was a painted picture of my older brother and older sister playing together and wondered why an angel stood watch over them and why my younger sister and I were not there!
Of course, as I grew older I worked out that my impression of the picture was wrong and that it was just an artist's idea, but a lovely one at that.
We were taught from very young that we always had God’s presence with us and that Angels stepped in when needed. We experienced answered prayers, and saw things happen regularly that we knew were the hand of God being there for us.
One particular time was brought to my remembrance when having breakfast with my younger sister this week after swimming together – I was a teenager at high school and when getting off the school bus with my older sister this day, I remember her being very serious as we walked back home, explaining to me that things may be very different than when we left house in morning (I was not aware but my parents were having all business & home effects auctioned off during the day due to bankruptcy). I was shocked by this new info and when walking inside we were told that no one had appeared on the day and all were passed in by court order so other arrangements were made – God had enabled us to still live in our home, Praise God! (this is my remembrance of that day – the truth may possibly be very different)
I loved that I was made aware of God's amazing interactions in many situations at an early age as it gave me a hunger to pursue more of God in my life. It set me on a journey to love reading and especially the word of God.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. – Matthew 5:6
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You” - Ps 63:1
“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger” - John 6:35
My first Christian novel ‘The Robe’ was given to me by my older sister as a young teen.
The book explores the aftermath of the crucifixion of Jesus through the experiences of the Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio and his Greek slave Demetrius. Prince Gaius, in an effort to rid Rome of Marcellus, banishes Marcellus to the command of the Roman garrison at Minoa, a port city in southern Palestine. In Jerusalem during Passover, Marcellus ends up carrying out the crucifixion of Jesus but is troubled since he believes Jesus is innocent of any crime.
Marcellus and some other soldiers throw dice to see who will take Jesus' seamless robe. Marcellus wins and asks Demetrius to take care of the robe.
Following the crucifixion, Marcellus takes part in a banquet attended by Pontius Pilate. During the banquet, a drunken centurion insists that Marcellus wear Jesus' robe. Reluctantly wearing the garment, Marcellus apparently suffers a nervous breakdown and returns to Rome.
Sent to Athens to recuperate, Marcellus finally gives in to Demetrius' urging and touches the robe, and his mind is subsequently restored. Marcellus, now believing the robe has some sort of innate power, returns to Judea, follows the path Jesus took, and meets many people whose lives Jesus had affected. Based upon their experiences, first Demetrius and then Marcellus become followers of Jesus.
Marcellus then returns to Rome, where he must report his experiences to the emperor Tiberius at Villa Jovis on Capri. Marcellus frees Demetrius, who escapes. However, later on, because of his uncompromising stance regarding his Christian faith, both Marcellus and his new wife Diana are executed by the new emperor, Caligula. Marcellus arranges that the robe be given to "The Big Fisherman" (Simon Peter).
To read someone’s perspective on how life may have been for individual characters 2,000 years ago when Jesus was alive was like turning on a light bulb for me, so revolutionary. Later on, as I grew older I read numbers of other books to give me a better picture and understanding of how God speaks to us spiritually in such a tumultuous world today.
The picture from my childhood above, shows an angel of quite a large size and stature, if not visible to the children, the picture indicates to me that they (the Angel) will be keeping them safe from any harm.
I have heard on many occasions over the years different ones sharing with me that they have seen Angels participating in our presence when worshiping etc. at church, so I am encouraged by this. That God and His heavenly realm are ever-present with us here in all we do for the furthering of His Kingdom here on earth.
One novel writer has had his depiction of angels at work explained by a commentator this way…
‘This Present Darkness’ by Frank E. Peretti
In the story, there is a spiritual dimension—revealing a perspective based on the idea of unseen forces at work. The angels who wage warfare for the souls of mankind look and act similarly to humans—they have names, they are in charge of specific regions of the earth, and they are propelled by heavenly forces that often manifest as wings. They wear armour and wield weapons forged in heaven—most notably, swords.
The word of God (Bible) says that angels walk amongst us, and we are probably unaware…
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” – Heb 13:2
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” – Ps 91:11
I am in awe of a Heavenly Father who sees and knows me from the beginning of conception to now and regardless of all my wrongdoing still wants to love and protect me through life’s chaotic circumstances. It is a privilege to come under His guarded protection and I will choose to continue all He asks of me in this season, as best I can.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. - Ps 139:13-18
This past month I have spent a lot of time resting and recouping due to illness and so my reflective thoughts have taken me back to a number of times when clearly God was in control, and it has given my spirit the longing to worship and honour my Heavenly Father who…
”Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us” – Eph 3:20 AMP