Going to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the weekends was something I treasured as a child. They only lived a couple of miles away, but their property was comprised of hills, lots of grass, a fishpond in the backyard fed by a natural spring of cool water, a rock garden tended to by my Grandma, and many places to play hide and seek! There were goldfish in the fishpond that were always fun to play with and try to catch with my hands, they were slippery. Sooner or later, Grandma would say that the fishpond was not a place for me to play, but it was so fun until I had to get out and change my clothes!
They had the coolest stuff at their house that kept me amused, just snooping around, for hours. Grandma had a little bonsai tree on the buffet in the dining room, and I was always amazed at that, and the way that she kept it trimmed. In the drawer of the buffet was a Sears and Roebuck catalogue that had thousands of things of interest, and I would always look at that and wish! I even knew where the box of assorted chocolates was hidden in one of the drawers of the buffet, underneath the tablecloths! There was a fur coat to try on; and many, many hats, pieces of jewelry, scarfs, and dresses for a little girl to play dress up in.. and high healed shoes! So much fun.
One day, in a drawer, I discovered a strange looking thing. It was a large, heavy piece of thick round glass with a rim around it, and it was on a handle. It wasn’t at all clear that you could see through it. Grandma said it was a magnifying glass, and the way to use it is hold it above something you want to look at real close, and it will make it look bigger. I had to be careful with it so it didn’t break, but I could explore with it. She was right, although it took a little practice. If you hold it just right, it will make what you’re looking at seem much bigger. It made grains of salt and sugar look huge, and a little spider in the corner appeared to be as big as life! I had fun being a detective in their house, finding little things and making them appear to be bigger than they really were. And then, I went outside! The flowers were so delicate, the dandelions were so bright and yellow under the magnifying glass. The pussy willow tree was delightfully fun. I would crawl through the rock garden and look and the flowers, ground coverings, rocks, each appearing so fascinating.
As I wandered about the yard, I came upon kind of a little sandy spot and I decided to do a little detective work with the magnifying glass to see what that was all about. Oh my! There was a whole civilization of ants in that little hill. There were what seemed to be an infinite number of busy ants, some coming out of the civilization, and others that were carrying things into the ant hill. I suppose they were bringing in food for all of the inhabitants. Grandpa told me that there was a queen ant that produced all of the eggs, and hundreds of female ants that just attended to her, kept the ant hill organized, and foraged for food, all sometimes without eyes. There was a whole world of living creatures in there that just went on about their daily busy jobs without anyone even telling them to do it, or directing one another! I had been across that part of the yard hundreds of times before and never even noticed that there was a whole civilization, that was unseen to me before this. I had no idea it was even there; it was if there was a whole world of life going on that I didn’t know about, or couldn’t see without the magnifying glass lens.
As I sit here and look into the back yard with the wind blowing through the trees, I think of Psalms 91-11 ‘For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways’. Through the magnifying lens of God Word, He tells us that there is a whole spiritual world around us, with hosts of angels, unseen, that were created by God and are under his authority. Their job is to act as messengers of God and to protect us. There is an unseen world around us that is busier than the whole civilization that I discovered in Grandma and Grandpa’s back yard, and also unseen by our regular lenses.
I had a situation happen to me years ago as I was driving home after work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was on a four lane stretch of highway, filled with traffic at dusk, that was approaching the crest of a hill. Once I got over that crest, all I could see ahead of me was four lanes of tail lights. I quickly put on my breaks, put on my blinkers, but the cars behind me weren’t slowing down. I saw, through the lens of the rearview mirror that a pickup truck behind me was hit by another vehicle, and now was sliding on its side with the roof coming toward me on the highway. In a split second, the undercarriage of that truck was hit again, and the truck was set airborne right toward me. I lost sight of it in my rearview mirror, but it came right down on the back of my 1996 Thunderbird! All of this happened so quickly, but also somewhat in slow motion. As I got out of my car, what I saw was hard to explain. The back part of the roof of my car was collapsed onto the backset. The front seat was intact, and I wasn’t hurt at all. There was a lot of activity that began to happen because there were a few cars that all were involved because of this accident. Even the paramedics and firemen and police couldn’t believe that I got out of the car and was standing there when they arrived, unharmed, untouched. When I called the insurance adjuster, he asked me what happened, and I told him just as it happened. “A truck was hit behind me, slid toward me on it’s side, his undercarriage was hit by another vehicle and set the truck airborne, and it came down on the back of my car.” His response to me gave the impression that he didn’t believe me, until he was able to see the car for himself. The rear license plate didn’t have a scratch on it, yet the back half of the roof was collapsed onto the back seat, and the front seat was not touched. Lucky break, some would say.
I don’t believe in lucky breaks, coincidences, close calls, or a chance-passing of someone that helps you at just the right time. There are those promptings that make you pick up the phone, almost without thinking, and calling that friend for family member, who needs you right then. How many times have you spontaneously called someone, and they said ‘I was just thinking about you!’ Or maybe you entered on the phone with them at just the time they needed someone. Did you ever get a card in the mail at just the right time to encourage you? Did you ever receive a check in the mail without knowing it was coming, in just the right amount that you need? No coincidence. It was at the direction of an unseen hand.
I have the image of an angel sitting on the back bumper of my car that day, pushing that truck away from me with their arms and legs. Sounds kind of funny, but that’s the image that I have of that moment, and I believe it. There are many close calls that happen to us in our lifetime, and many that we’re even unaware of. Likewise, there are also times that we may be harmed and hurt. However, in both of those situations, there is a whole army of God’s angels, and God himself that is with us, to travel through those situations. There are people that He puts in our lives for a particular reason to get through a situation, a season of our life, or a lifetime. As Hebrews 13:2 tells us, ‘Don’t forget to be kind to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.’ There are angels, messengers, God’s beings all around us to protect, guide, and love us. They are unseen, except through the magnifying lens of God’s word.
How have you seen evidence of God’s unseen hand, or even entertained angels unaware?