I read Lisa’s story in the Oct. 4, 2020, Our Daily Bread devotional. Lisa did not know what to make of the following Bible verse found on a greeting card when it arrived. “Then Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!’ The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” (2 Kings 6:17, NLT) The words did not seem to relate to the painful circumstances she was enduring.
Lisa could not figure out why someone would try to encourage her with that verse. She thought, “A verse about angel soldiers doesn’t apply. I have cancer! I’ve just lost a baby!”
She soon realized how the verse related when she began to receive visits from personal “angels” who comforted her. Compassionate cancer survivors showed up to share their experiences; they allowed her to ask tough questions and offered her their unique perspective at a time when she desperately needed it.
Her husband received an emergency release allowing him to leave an overseas military assignment early and return home. Friends prayed with her and offered her a shoulder on which to cry.
Lisa still recalls the moment she felt God’s love most. It was when her friend Patty showed up with two boxes of tissues, placed them on the table and began crying. “Patty knew. She’d endured miscarriages too. That meant more than anything.” The verse on the card now made sense, her “angels” were there when she needed them most.
The Old Testament passage with the statement about the young man realizing God was with him is essential to this story. He had been dazed and confused; yet was comforted knowing God was there.
All of us have moments when we feel alone and overwhelmed. During these we need God to open our eyes and help us regain our balance. We are unlikely to see an army of literal angels surrounding us, but, like Lisa, may discover compassionate friends, our own personal angels, who have experienced challenges like our own. These representatives of God’s love offer us reassurance and fresh perspective.
At moments like these, we need to be reminded we are never alone. God is with us, and he often sends supportive friends at the moment we need them most. Author, Tim Gustafson, concluded his Our Daily Bread devotional with these insightful words, “The Lord shows us his love in infinitely surprising ways.”