How do you think of angels? As ethereal creatures with halos and wings? Or do you see them as messengers from God? The definition of ''angels'' in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy n1 reads, in part, ''God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect.'' n2 And a loved hymn tells us that God ''knows the angels that you need,/And sends them to your side.'' n3
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Science and Health, p. 581.
n3 Christian Science Hymnal, No. 9
The Bible is full of instances where prayerful trust in God's omnipotent care brought needed angels. When Daniel came unharmed out of the den of lions, he was able to assure King Darius, ''My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me.'' n4
n4 Daniel 6:22.
One time, together with my sister and her family, I went on a holiday. We had taken two cars and our aim had been to wander along the country roads, enjoying the lovely countryside at leisure.
After a pleasant trip we were making our way to catch the homeward ferry. Although we did not realize it at the time, that day was a public holiday. We found virtually no sign of life as we drove through village after village with shuttered houses and shops.
Then, without warning, my brother-in-law's car broke down. Our attempts to fix the car were unsuccessful. We were in the heart of the country and had seen hardly any traffic. The situation was awkward because we all needed to catch that particular ferry home.
I realized this was an opportunity to prove God's care and loving provision for His children. I had learned to pray to Him in times of trouble, and this had brought many blessings and healing experiences into my life. I felt confident that I could trust Him to take care of this situation too. Prayerfully I began to acknowledge that He is our all-loving, Father-Mother God; that He alone is in complete control of our lives. We could never be anywhere where He was not, or in any circumstance where He was unable to help us. God is an ever-present help. Christ Jesus' healing ministry was based on God's tender love and care for His creation.
I continued to pray. In a little while a motorist who was traveling in the opposite direction kindly stopped to offer assistance. As we explained our problem, he told us there was a garage that appeared to be open in the next village.
I drove the other car to this village and found that the garage was, indeed, open. The proprietor listened to our story and then appeared to completely ignore us while he carried on a conversation with a friend. However, I held on to my angel thought that because divine Love alone was in complete control, our need would be cared for.
Suddenly the proprietor leaped into his truck and signaled to us to show the way. Within a very short time the car was repaired and we were able to catch the ferry home.
When we trustingly turn to God, He never lets us down. And we can be assured that His help, although it may not appear exactly as we had planned, will prove to be just the practical aid we need. Whatever the difficulty, God will show us a way out.
So when there is a problem, pray for an angel thought, hold on to it, refuse to be discouraged - and watch it take over. The Psalmist promised, ''He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.'' This care comes to us, the psalm also relates, ''Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation.'' n5 We have to know where our help lies - in God - and acknowledge Him as having all power. When we do this our angel may appear as a sudden right idea, or spiritual intuition, to tell us how to solve the problem. It can lead us, as mine did, to whatever we need.
n5 Psalms 91:11, 9.
Angels can take many forms, but they will always come in practical ways. So that is how I think of angels - as loving, helpful ideas made practical, coming straight to us from God. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it. Isaiah 30:21