Psalm 91:11 (KJV)
We lived in a farmhouse that was situated at the end of a long, dirt lane, when our dog, Princess, came into our lives. She was a beautiful, purebred German Shepherd, and she became an “angel” of sorts to me and my family. I was too young to go to school, and she and I spent many happy hours running and exploring the many outbuildings on the farm.
My sister, Debbie, walked down the lane each morning to catch the bus to ride to school. I would often walk with her and see her off. Princess was always at our side, and she would do an amazing thing. She would go ahead of Debbie and me, and she would stand sideways at the end of our driveway creating a protective barrier between us and the road. When the bus would arrive, she would move aside, but only to let Debbie have room to pass and get on the bus. Then she and I would walk back down the lane together towards home. Her protective nature was something truly remarkable, and Mom always felt safe for me to be outside as long as she was with me.
Even as a very young child, I loved church, and I loved to “play” church, too. One day, I gathered all of my dolls and stuffed animals, and I decided we would all go outside to one of my favorite outbuildings, and we would have church! I remember Mom was standing at the kitchen counter making supper as I passed her on my way out the back door. I walked outside, down the back steps, to the outbuilding that was located not too far from the back of the house, and went inside.
I placed my dolls and stuffed animals in a semi-circle, so they were all facing me, and after singing and all of the preliminaries, I began to “preach” to them. I don’t know how long our “service” had been going on, but I was so engrossed in it, I didn’t see that a storm was coming up outside. I was completely unaware, until the heavy wood door behind me slammed closed with a loud thud. The noise startled me, and I remember running over to the door to push it open. It wouldn’t budge! I pushed against it with all the might my little frame could muster….but still it wouldn’t move an inch. I began to cry and call for Mom, but it was of no use. I hadn’t even told her where I was going when I left her in the kitchen. She just knew I was going outside to play. The wind was blowing hard, it was raining, and there was no way I could ever make her hear my screams. I began to panic and wonder what to do.
All of a sudden, in the midst of my distress, I heard the most reassuring sound! Princess was standing outside the outbuilding door barking for all she was worth. She barked continually until my panic-stricken mother heard her and was able to determine my whereabouts. I will never forget how happy I was to hear the door open and see Mom standing on the other side. Our loyal dog had once again risen to the challenge and been a valiant protector and friend. It seemed like she could always sense danger, and she was determined to look out for us.
Time went by, and Princess began to become aggressive, as German Shepherds are known to do. She began to bite and propose a threat to us, so out of concern for Debbie and me, Mom and Dad made the difficult decision to give her away. The people we gave her to ended up giving her to the police, and she became a K9 patrol partner to one of the officers. I was very sad and cried the day she left, and I have never forgotten her.
I love the story in Genesis 19 about
Lot and how the angels came to warn him of the impending destruction of the city where he lived. The angels had a sense of urgency in removing Lot and his family. Lot was a righteous man and God’s providential care and mercy was faithful to send the angels ahead of time to help him and his family get out safely before the fire and brimstone fell from Heaven to consume the city. My favorite part is verse 22 when one of the angels told Lot, “Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither.” In other words, he was telling Lot that until he was out of harm’s way, he would stand close and protect him from danger. God would not pour out His intended wrath until His child was safe from harm!
God promised in today’s passage to give His angels charge over us, to keep us in all our ways. I believe His angels come to us in many different forms and shapes and sizes….some of them very unlikely. I have often wondered through the years how many times God has sent an angel to pull me out of harm’s way…times that I didn’t even know I was in danger. I look back over my life and realize that it has probably happened more times than I can count.
Princess was an “angel” of sorts to me that stormy day when I was so afraid. How many others throughout my life has God used to protect me, to hold me accountable in my walk with the Lord, to encourage me to stay on the straight and narrow, to keep me in all my ways? Some are obvious, such as my loving husband, who provides for me, takes care of our little family, and is a steady, consistent source of strength and encouragement. Others are not so obvious……perhaps they have been complete strangers who slipped quietly in and out of my life with no fanfare or notice. But, God placed all of them there, and for this, I will be eternally grateful.