Angels are often talked about during the Christmas season. They came to Joseph and Mary among others during Jesus’ birth. But they also came to other characters at different times throughout the Bible. Angels come to bring messages from God – messages of peace, safety and guidance, to name a few. They are often depicted as feathery beings. But actually, angels are messages from God, Spirit, that come to us in our thinking. God is speaking to us all the time, so angels are really always present with us.
There may be times when we’ve really felt we’ve been helped by an angel message – it might have been some thought of how to do something in a better way or how to help someone. Or when we get a thought that helps us stay safe, we might think of that as an angel message from God.
This past week, I took a little solo backcountry ski trip to a mountain area that was high up near an exposed ridge without many trees for protection. A storm was approaching fast. There were high winds and blowing, drifting snow. Initially, the cloud ceiling was about 500 feet above where I was. I had a destination in mind, but I planned to turn around if/when the cloud ceiling dropped. I skied for about an hour or so trying to not get blown over while keeping a careful eye on the visibility.
I had just about reached my destination. The cloud ceiling had actually raised a little, but a strong urge came to turn around and head back. I had planned on exploring the area a little bit, but the urging was so strong that I turned around and headed back.
Shortly after that, the cloud ceiling dropped, and I was in a whiteout which was quickly becoming worse. At first, I could still see the trail’s outline up to a few hundred feet ahead of me. But as I looked behind me, it seemed like the whiteout was filling in my tracks. When I looked forward again, my visibility had worsened.
I kept skiing as hard as I could until I got back down into the trees which helped with my sight until I finally made it back to the parking lot.
It’s hard to say how bad the whiteout got after that, or how poor the visibility would have been if I had turned around five minutes later. But I was glad for that little, strong voice – that angel – that told me it was time to turn back.
God’s angels, thoughts, are always with us. Throughout our day as we get quiet and listen, we can hear God’s messages to help us through the little and the big storms in our lives.