Pondering the scriptures during this fourth week of Advent, there is much thought given to angels and dreams. Joseph in his dream was instructed to take Mary as his wife. He was told to not be afraid. Mary was visited by the angel and told to not be afraid. The shepherds were advised by an angel to not be afraid. We see a pattern of angels showing up at times where there was what the Bible teacher Henry Blackaby calls a “crisis of belief” or a turning point in someone’s life. It’s a time when one must make a choice as to how they will move forward. In these advent cases, it was a trust in the announcement of the Messiah.It’s not every day we’re greeted by an angel, but looking back to Advent 2007, I now believe I had one of those angel visits.
‘I am waking in the night, not from worry, but from dreams and songs I learned as a child. One night I woke to these words being repeated over and over, “Jesus doeth all things well.” I wasn’t sure about the song, but I knew the tune and the next morning I went to the hymnal and found these words:
All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’re befalls me, Jesus doeth all things well.
The conversation in my dream went something like me saying, “I cannot do this. I do not want to do this.” And some other voice said, “You have to do this. You can do this. Do not let temptation or self-pity get in your way and do not be afraid.”
There it was again. “Do not be afraid.” The word befall means to come up against tragedy or a crucial point in your life. A turning point, if you will. But the song in the dream said my savior leads me and does all things well. I suppose it is what Joseph and Mary relied on. It was enough for me.
2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” When we can see clearly, it is not faith, but reasoning of our mind. I have learned to rely less on reasoning and to trust my conversations and angel visits in the wee hours, relying on my faith to see me through.
Jesus does “doeth” all things well – he comes to us again this Christmas as Immanuel – God with us – in the middle of the night, during the day through our family and friends, and before our eyes each and every minute.”
Two years later in Rome I would take a picture of each angel on the Bridge of Angels (Ponte Sant’Angelo) that spans the Tiber River. The Angel with the Cross’s inscription reads: “Cuius principatus super humerum eius,” or, “Dominion rests on his shoulders.” (Isaiah 9:6) Just a few verses before this, the prophet announced that “a child is born to us, a son is given us.”
Wonderful Counselor, who carries the cross for me this Advent, allow me to experience your presence with an angel visit. Come, Lord Jesus.