Thanking the Ministering Angels
By Donald Holliday
Gathering Home the Saints — Chapter 8
O could we hear the sound of many wings of angels’ flight on wondrous mission bent. Could we but see each messenger speed forth, to aid, to strengthen, comfort and support. Could we perceive the interest of a spirit world, some rising, some descending, all sent forth along the sunlight shafts of love divine… breaking through clouds, … opening prison doors. With ease and grace their wonders they perform,… whispering words behind us, … beckoning on, … guarding, guiding, watching every step of every saint, to keep in all their ways, … beholding constantly a Father’s face. Before we cry, they take our hand to bear us up, and lift us high above the stumbling stones of earth, beyond the things of time and sense to glory realms, eternity’s domain, where dwells our Lord. See, he prepares, within His Father’s House, a place reserved, (oh blessed thought!) in heaven for me. Sweet are such messages of love. Beautiful the flight of those who bring them to my longing heart, and loan to me their wings.
This debt of gratitude and love we carry over to the scenes above, when, one sweet day, we will meet those wondrous beings who helped us in the way, and wait their charge to greet. Should we repay their selfless ministry with praise, and wonder at their patience with our ways, then will they smile, their holy faces shine, and each confess, “God’s be the praise, not mine.”
How intimately will each angel know our path, our past, persistence both for good and ill, our petulance and puerile fantasies, and our delight to know that Sovereign Will of God. That character peculiar to me, and all that makes me just the way I am, my deep desires, my inbred state of sin, that inconsistent mixture dark and light, reflected in my struggling within. How wonderful those holy sons of light whose flight from heaven’s courts was made for me, who readily descend to sinful earth to grapple with dark powers to save me harm. Yet their successes apprehended not by our poor minds, we rarely even notice that smoothed path, nor sense their effort, vigilance or zeal in faithful ministration for our sake.
An angel’s mind accepts such poor acclaim. They joy to do it in the Father’s Name, and recognised or not, they serve the same. And do they each have name, as Gabriel, this great and noble host of holy minds? If they know joy in heaven when prodigals return, what other deep emotions fill their being? How do they view the wearing low of saints? How did they bear the sight of Calvary? Their memories reach back before the worlds were formed, their joy and glad surprise upon creation’s dawn to look upon that man in His dear likeness made. How deep their sorrow when that work of God displayed fell to the Serpent’s plan, and man became depraved and turned his back on life and its great Source.
Did we bring angels joy when first we turned our minds towards the Light? They who had known for countless ages past that some great height to the Creator’s work was planned, though what it was they could not understand. Yet with desire they stooped to see the first faint glimmer of this mystery. And when the wraps of time at last unsealed were lifted, oh what joy that act revealed among that host who peered to see, but what would their emotion be when they saw me? There may have been moments in the work of grace when there was a frown upon my angel’s face, yet such was his trust on wisdom divine (if only that trust had ever been mine!) He swiftly would fly to the Father above, and there face to face that communion of love, and swift his return my responses to prove, . . . then back came that smile. With patience he would wait while earnest in prayer my heart was outpoured. Then he would open my eyes, and the answer was there! Oh how he adored those moments of truth when Grace was explored! And so did my Lord Whose eyes he became.
The heart of an angel. Oh brethren, what pure mind was solemnly entrusted with my care? What holy noble character is charged right now, according to that perfect will of God, to hold me and support, that heavenly design in me fulfill? What fitting messenger of so great a love would God commission for salvation’s heir? I long to see that being whose delight is in my Lord, His glory and His work. Who never cease to proclaim His Worth, His holiness, His wisdom, and His praise, who loves all that my Father loves, His ways, His character, His endless days.
I close my eyes and see that ladder linking me with heaven’s realm. Above it stands My God, Who looking now upon this stony place that makes my bed, sends messages of love that meet my need. Was Jacob first to glimpse the truth of Romans 8:28? “All things” in heaven, “all things” on earth that touch my life. … So many working even now towards my victory and His joy. A heavenly collusion is this hour involved beyond my mind to comprehend. In varied guise the messengers appear. One day a brother dear to me, though now passed on, while passing through a darkness of the soul, became aware his cat was occupied in tapping with his paw a screwed up piece of paper at his feet. “Read this!” it was as if it said. And stooping he picked up and then spread out the tiny scrap, to find thereon a text in his own hand of days before. More fitting message could not be framed for that dark hour. In varied ways His messengers co-work in that great purpose of our God. Oh could we hear that sound of many wings of angels’ flight on wondrous mission bent. What stimulus to faith! What comfort of great love! What debt we owe to Him Who sends, and they who bear these promises of grace.
I long to look upon my angel’s face, and for him thank my God.