Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Angels Among Us

My in-laws blessed us with a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas this past New Years. It was wonderful and I'd do it again in a heartbeat! (Just in case they are reading and thinking of making it an annual thing! ;)) Our "port" day in the Bahamas was beautiful; but storms were brewing out to sea, so it was windy.

We had opted not to sign up for a scheduled "excursion" (and pay twice the price we would have to on shore); so we ventured off the ship on our own and eventually located some cab drivers vying for our money attention. We settled on a fun guy named, "Elvis."

We asked him to take us to a beautiful beach where the kids could play and we could relax for a few hours. He dropped us off on a small trail that he said would lead us to a perfect beach. Hmmm...

The trail ended up being quite rocky and precarious. It finally opened up onto the beach. Which was equally filled with jagged shells and rocks. Comments like, "I guess Elvis won't be getting a big tip." were muttered along the way. (We had worked a "round trip" deal with him.) We walked and walked down the beach certain that it had to eventually get better. After walking about a mile (slight exaggeration) we ended up in a nicer area.

The swells were HUGE and crashed heavily upon the shore. Our kids immediately began chasing the water back out to the sea; but when the next swell broke, it had an intense current pulling back out to sea. My daughter began to get pulled and fell; the water dragging her in a bit. She was sufficiently scared and began to tell everyone that she "almost drowned." Which, in fact, could easily have been the case had my husband not been right there to pull her back up.

Out of no where a lifeguard appeared. He stood a short distance away from our family. There were others on the beach; but few were close to our spot. Our daughter and littlest one both crashed out; one from sudden respect for the sea and the other from exhaustion. Our Gentle Strength (middle child) chased the water in and out (not going in; just following the edge) for over an hour. The life guard stood; body pointing in the direction of our family, occasionally blowing his whistle at those passing by on the beach who were going into the water, but it was as if he were an angel specifically positioned to watch over us.

I couldn't help but see the lifeguard as God's visual reminder to us that He was watching over our family. As we were packing up to leave, another lifeguard came onto the beach to relieve our lifeguard. Ours stayed until we were completely packed and then slipped away as quickly as he came. The other wandered down the beach not giving us a second glance.

Just last week during Spring break; I drove with the kids (by myself) down to FL to visit the grandparents. Things were smooth on the way down and we had a wonderful time there. The night before we were to leave; I had a bad dream. I couldn't remember specifics; but I was filled with fear when I awoke about driving back hundreds of miles. I prayed against the fear and recalled Scripture.

"I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4)

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)

"Whoso hearkens unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." (Proverbs 1:33)

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of the power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day." (Psalm 91:4-5)

Peace flooded my soul and we packed and left as planned. Traffic was slow; but we made it to our stopping place and went up to our hotel room. We normally stay at a place with a pool so we can let the kids get some energy out; so down to the pool we went. I noticed a security guard in the hall of the hotel near the lobby (we were in pool gear). I noted it because it surprised me. We don't stay at really expensive hotels who would normally have security guards and I don't recall ever having seen a security guard there before.

We played in the pool for awhile. Occasionally, I would see the security guard pass by the door of the pool glancing in to make sure we were o.k. He must have passed 5 or 6 times in the 40 minutes that we were there. I didn't give it much thought until that night after I got the kids tucked in. It was as if the Lord was whispering to my heart...

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you..." Isaiah 43:2

Did God send angels in the form of a lifeguard and a security guard or were they just men doing their "jobs?" I believe He allowed me just a small glimpse of His ever present love and care.

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2




Anonymous said...

Beautiful post!

Busy Mom said...

What a gentle beautiful reminder of the GREAT AWESOME God we serve.

Still Learning said...

goose bumps!!! great post.

HappyascanB said...

So many things I loved about this post! 1. Your children are beautiful! 2. Love the lifeguard / security guard stories and resemblances you pointed out of our Heavenly Guard! 3. If you'd stopped in Macon, GA, we could've met and had lunch! Okay, I know that's kind of strange since I just started reading your blog, but I do believe we'd totally be friends in real life!

Gretchen said...

I believe they were angels, Shanda. Why not? The Scripture supports His great love and protection of us. I've felt that way too, a time or 2, so perhaps those were "my" angels.

Beautiful job. And yes, beautiful kids.

my word verification: lordwin

Kathryn said...

Beautifully expressed, Shanda! Just last night as we were driving home from Bible study/youth group at our church, Katy and I had been discussing something that struck her as wondrous but also fearsome.

She wanted to keep the car's interior light on as we drove home, but I vetoed that idea. So, she kept looking over her shoulder into the back seat, and suddenly she gasped, "Look! There are angel wings!"

And, sure enough, an outline of light on the back seat of our car looked exactly like angel wings. Only, we had no idea where the light was coming from. And, as we drove down the road, changed directions, and made turns, the outline of the angel's wings remained visible until we drove into our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

God has given you dear memories that "when you go through the waters" they will not overtake you and He will be with you. Beautiful! God loves us so well!