For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
~ Psalm 91:11
We do not know if angels sleep, but they probably do dream. It seems safe to say that they dream of a day when they need no longer stand watch; when they no longer deploy to engage the enemy; and when they no longer must gaze upon the fallen.
There may be many divisions of angels tasked with different missions. But, we know that some of them are warriors. They fight against enemies that would easily overpower the strongest of us. We may not see them, but they have our back.
Perhaps our picture of a guardian angel shows him guiding us safely over a slippery road, where our brakes would do us little good. Perhaps we see that angel hovering over an operating table where a loved one lies helpless. Such pictures are valid. The psalm adds the details, “…they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Angels guard our bodies.
Angels also guard our souls. Saint Paul reminds us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
The first war did not involve humans. Angels fought against angels. We hear, “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back” (Revelation 12:7). “The dragon” is a code word for Satan.
When defeated in heaven, Satan and his forces moved to attack the citizens of earth. Our first parents were their first victims. But then our Creator became our Rescuer; and angels had a part in that. Angels announced the Savior’s birth. An angel was sent from heaven to strengthen Jesus as he prayed in Gethsemane. Afterwards, angels proclaimed his victory over death.
Heavenly angels will remain engaged in battle against the forces of evil until the last trumpet and the last salute. We are told that as the world approaches its end, times of distress will increase. But, we are assured, “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise” (Daniel 12:1).
Angels will be there to fight with us against those who would kill faith and hope. The promise is given: “But at that time your people—everyone whose name is written in the book—will be delivered” (Daniel 12:1).
Angels from the realms of glory will remain at the side of God’s people till the end of time. They will not retreat before the enemy. They will not abandon us.
One day, it will be all over; every enemy of God and his people will be gone. On that day all of God’s people will have made it home. On that day the news will ring throughout heaven: Mission Accomplished!
Angels must dream of that day. So should we.
Prayer: God of mercy and might, we thank you for deploying angels to keep us in all our ways. Though we might never have seen them, we know they watch over our bodies and souls. Keep them posted. Keep them guarding. Keep us safe. Amen.