Susan Whitaker is like many who call themselves a “real doubting Thomas” when it comes to believing in angels. She is still in a state of wonder after an incident that happened not too long ago.
Whitaker, a married woman with four children from Panama City Beach, Fla., is a Christian and has raised her family as a household of believers.
She accepted Christ as her savior when she was 12-years-old.
During her life, she heard stories about angels, but thought they were Christmas stories, or just someone’s imagination gone wild.
Herein lies the problem: to believe in the existence of angels requires faith in what is not seen and which doesn't require proof.
Angels don't go around tooting a horn saying, "Here I am!" They are spiritual beings who may appear visibly when necessary or, at God's command, but they are always present in society as unseen beings.
This is something Susan Whitaker and her husband discovered on a recent outing to the beach this summer.
Whitaker, and her husband of 42 years, are not quite up to snuff when it comes to technology and all the new gadgets on the market today. The couple usually just relies on their children to help them with the computer or new cell phones.
Their story starts on a hot day in June when the weather started to change. The couple did not check the weather forecast because it was a sunshiny day and not a cloud in sight.
"Our children always warned us to bring a weather radio or check out the computer images on the weather sites," she said. "We did not do that on this day because the weather looked absolutely harmless."
After their picnic and walk on the beach, the skies grew dark and the wind started to pick up quickly.
The couple rode their bikes and did not have a vehicle close by to take cover.
They saw people running in every direction when the rain started coming down with a vengeance.
When the skies turned black they were both frightened. The couple tried everything to find cover, but they were in a wide-open space and the rain was blinding.
The thunder and lightening seemed to come out of nowhere and they feared a tornado was about to hit the area.
“We did not know what to do and we honestly started fearing for our lives,” Susan said.
“I know it sounds silly. I was thinking that this is just a storm and why should I worry. But the weather turned so extreme in just minutes. We were scared to death.”
Then, in one silent moment, they decided to pray.
“We are Christians and we pray all the time,” she said. “However, I never thought to invite God into every little thing we do during the day. I felt like we were going to die and praying was the only thing I could think to do."
Hunkered down near a sand dune, the couple started praying. They believed that God would save them from a looming tragedy.
“Then, we looked up and saw two men holding out their hands to us,” Susan said.
“We grabbed their hands and they quickly guided us to a large covered building near the beach. They gave us each a blanket."
The couple did not notice the wooden building on the beach when they arrived for their outing.
The storm got worse, but the couple felt safe under cover. A few other people ran to the shelter and everyone waited for the storm to pass.
The couple turned to thank the two men, but they were nowhere in sight. When things calmed down – they looked around and the two men were gone.
“I got goose bumps,” she said. “Where could they have gone? They were here and then they weren’t.”
The couple asked the others who were under the shelter if they had seen the two men.
“Nobody could recall seeing the men,” Susan said. “It was so strange. And then a peace came over me.”
She said even though it was a small problem – prayer works.
“I know it is rather a silly prayer story but it is a true one, and if nothing else it made me a believer in the power of prayer and the power of angels. I know now, without a doubt, that no request is too small or too big for God to answer.”
Susan Whitaker and her husband believe to this day that God sent two angels to help them in their time of need.
It has long been documented that strong faith affects every life situation. Inviting God into everything you do is really connecting with the creator of the universe.
God’s ways are not our ways. But we can be sure that His angels are always near us, bringing us comfort and consolation, and sometimes teaching us some truths along the way.
Many people ask if angels really exist? This is a question that confuses the people who really want to believe in the existence of angels – but are skeptical, unwilling to accept what they cannot see as reality.
Believers, on the other hand, have no problem believing in their existence even if they cannot explain why they believe.
Studies show that two-thirds of all Americans believe not only that angels exist, but also that they are “active in the world.”
In Peter J. Kreeft’s new book, Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them?, he says we cannot prove the existence of angels because all of our knowledge "begins with the visible, with sense experience."
He says angels are spiritual beings who may appear visibly when necessary or, at God's command, but they are always present in society as unseen beings.
It takes faith to believe in angels. The Bible says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).
While the Bible doesn't say when angels were created, it speaks of them in the earliest books. Other ancient manuscripts mention specific “orders” of spiritual beings: Angels, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Thrones, Archangels, Seraphs and Cherubim. There is also reference to the fallen angels in historical data and in the Bible.
J.P. Moreland, a Christian philosopher, defends angels and demons without hesitation or embarrassment.
“I don’t believe they exist,” he said. “I know they exist – and there are two reasons. First, I’m convinced Christianity is true, so angels and demons being real is a system-dependent belief. Second, there are just too many credible, intelligent people who’ve had encounters with angels and demons to dismiss it. … I myself had an encounter with three angels.”
Angels are featured prominently in Christian doctrine – real beings, created by God as part of God’s grand master plan.
There are literally millions of people who have experienced what seems like a divine intervention in a time of serious crisis... and often, that intervention comes from an "angel" who may be connected to you, or familiar to you already.
Angels work in the work, not in the images that artists and sculptors have portrayed them, or in the personages that writers have described them, but in the essence of angelic experiences and faith that they exist. They help us in our time of need as a spiritual guide and God's messengers.