Acts 27:9, 20-26 We [apparently Luke was along on this voyage] had lost a lot of time. The weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel because it was so late in the fall, and Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it. … A terrible storm raged for many days, until all hope was gone. No one had eaten for a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together and said, “Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss.
But take courage! … For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So, take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.”
Whenever I see a reference to angels in the Bible, I mark it with an A. Biblical writers comment on angels matter-of-factly. Karis did too; for her they were a part of normal life. Several times in her journals she mentions seeing her guardian angels. As her father sometimes commented, she pushed her limits so recklessly she needed more than one. Because she saw her angels from time to time, I wonder whether the net effect was to make her bolder, rather than more careful (as her mother often would have preferred).
But God speaks to me in other ways. As far as I remember, I’ve never seen an angel, nor heard one speak. Have you? If you have an angel story, I would love to hear it!
In fact if you have a “But God” story (and I’m sure you do!) I would love to hear it and post it to encourage others. We’re surrounded by so many challenges in this broken world that we need to take note when God intervenes in our stories, as Luke did in writing Acts. “Remember and tell!” are frequent invitations in Scripture, especially in the Psalms.
Don’t you remember better when you put an experience into words, and when you share it with others? Whether in the moment happy or sad, scary or tranquil, our interface with God helps us plant our feet more firmly and hearten each other more concretely. “This happened to me” carries more punch than just about anything else we can say.
We wouldn’t know this story—about Paul standing up in the middle of a typhoon to encourage his shipmates with what he heard an angel say to him—had Luke not taken the time and trouble to write it down. So, I challenge you: take the time. Record for yourself, for your family, for your friends, for people you don’t even know, what God has done for you. Share with us how he has intervened in your wild and precious life.
I’ll make you a bet: once it’s clear in your own mind, clear enough to write, God will give you opportunities to share your experience with others who need it. As Paul said, “Take courage!” Believe God. He even sends angels to communicate with us. Pass it on.