This testimony was written years ago, (before I learned about the power of casting out the enemy and claiming God’s promises in Jesus name,) but it’s still very much worth sharing…
I listened to the peculiar squelching, sucking sound my husbands shoes made, as he walked up to our tent. It sounded like the rain had pounded the mud and gravel into quicksand.
When he opened the flap and crawled in, a flash of lightning bleached the sky colorless. Gnarled tree limbs swayed in the wind above us, and the ground a foot out from our tent, was flooded with water. Everything beyond, was black.
“The weather man was wrong,” I said, lowering my voice so our three year old wouldn’t wake up. “Looks like all of Lake Tahoe is in for quite a thunderstorm tonight.”
My husband agreed with a nod.
Lightning struck the sky again, momentarily tearing the darkness apart. I tried to count the seconds before its matching thunder answered it, but they happened at the same time. I tensed and wondered; were we within the storm itself?
As we settled down for the night, I starred at the ceiling of our tent, unable to find peace. I could sense something was not right, but what?
My eyes slowly roamed over the tent, taking in its features. Waterproof nylon surrounded us, the screened windows were shut, the new lantern hanging from the center, the six metal rods that supported the tent, …
I pulled in my breath. Metal rods?
Horror filled my heart. If lightening were to strike our tent… We’d be fried alive.
I nudged my husband. “The poles that support the tent…they’re metal!”
“They’re aluminum,” he corrected, trying to cast my fear away. “They don’t attract electricity like other metals do.”
But I didn’t care if the poles wouldn’t attract lightening as much as other metals would. I didn’t want lightening to be attracted to them at all!
Thunder rocked the ground, as a bolt of lightning cut through the cold night air. The resulting roar made our little girl scream.
She scrambled out of her sleeping bag and into my arms. “I scared, mommy,” she said, tears filling her eyes, “it come get me!”
“Its O.K. kitten; Its just the storm. We’ll be all right.”
She looked at me, eyes saucer huge, and I knew she was beginning to panic. “Mommy,” she pleaded, “Make it stop, please make it stop!”
I starred at her, at a loss of what to do. How could I take her fear away? I couldn’t even remove my own.
“Mommy,” she whimpered, “can’t you stop it?”
“Oh honey,” I said, both empathizing and feeling hopeless, “Only God could make it stop.”
“Will He?” she asked.
My heart felt heavy. “No honey,” I said, “probably not.”
She cried then, and as I rocked her back and forth in my arms, I frantically searched the back of my mind for an answer. There must be something I could do to ease her mind. But what?
Wait a minute. My mother must have asked herself the very same question when I was a child. What did she do for me?
She prayed for a guardian angel to watch over you.
I spoke to her tentatively. “We could pray for one of God’s angels to come and watch over us. Would you like to try that?”
She responded with doubt. “Protect me….from storm?” They were big words for her, so she pronounced them slowly.
I couldn’t speak. All I could do was nod my head up and down.
“Oh yes mommy!” she said, her voice full of hope, “Please, pray for one right now!”
I closed my eyes, and felt a moment of doubt and then guilt, but I spoke. “Please dear Lord, send one of your angels down from heaven to watch over us tonight. Protect us from the storm, and let nothing bad happen to us, even in our dreams. Amen.”
“Amen,” she echoed, and with a look of contentment upon her face, slid back down under her covers, and was asleep within minutes.
Moments later, we too settled back into our bed, and turned off the lantern.
Unable to hear the sound of anything else, I listened to the storm rage around us. Tiny hairs on my arms tingled and stood up. With each streak of lightening that sliced through the sky, I found myself holding my breath. Would it strike us?
I could hear the even breathing of our three year old sleeping next to me, reminding me of the peace to be found in simple prayer. Oh, to be a child again!
If only I could find that peace! But I knew of nothing that would erase my fear, except a dry hotel room. And I knew my husband would not hunt one down in the middle of the night. He was one to chance it and ride it out. To him, it was an adventure.
But for me, it was becoming a nightmare.
Oh God, please help me….
It was then that I heard the sound. I froze, listening. Now what? My heart seemed to jump into my throat. Something is right outside our tent.
I listened again, and heard it clearer, louder. Definitely the sound of something moving, right outside our tent. But what? A bear? Warnings of them were stapled over the information booth, as you drove into the park. Yet that didn’t make sense. Why would a bear be out on a night like this?
I nudged my husband. “Do you hear that?”
He nodded, already getting up and grabbing a hold on the lantern. I knew then, that it was not just my imagination. My husband did not get up out of a warm bed to investigate a sound, unless he knew something was there.
We quietly undid the window’s zipper, and in one sweeping motion, flashed the strong lantern beam out towards the sound. My heart thudded in my chest, as I leaned out to look. What was it?
And yet the sound continued.
Left, right, left, right, the sound of grinding gravel paused and pivoted, as it seemed to turn in front of the tent then pace in the opposite direction. I sucked in my breath. They sounded just like… footsteps.
Yet there was nothing.
My husband laid back down, and I sat there, confused. What was it then? There was only one thing I knew of that could make that particular sound; the heavily booted footsteps of a full grown man.
“Do you hear the footsteps, too?”, I asked him.
He nodded. “Probably just the rain.”
“Have you ever known rain to make that sound?”
He paused. “No.”
“Do you hear that? He’s over to the left of me. And now,… see? He’s walking towards the other side. Can you hear it, too?”
“Yes,” He said softly, “I hear it.”
“What is it?”
It was a long moment before he answered me, and his voice was uneven when he spoke. “I don’t know.”
“What else could make that kind of sound?”
“I don’t know,” he sighed. “Just try to go back to sleep, O.K.?”
He did, but I couldn’t.
I lay there in the tent, listening to the foot steps, and felt my emotions overwhelm me. Oh Lord, Help me with this! It’s too much. First the lightening, now these foot steps. I started to cry, as panic and fear overtook me. Please Lord, Am I going crazy? Why do I keep hearing these footsteps?
The last question was rhetorical; I did not expect an answer. But I got one.
“Well,…” The voice within responded, “You asked for him.”
What? I knew it was God speaking to me, but I simply did not understand.
What are you talking about?
Completely confused, I lay there amidst the roar of the storm, and listened to the sound of those footsteps, encircling our tent.
And then I understood.
The guardian angel.
Joy filled me, as I lay there. To think God had really sent one to protect us….
I sat up again, and took out the flash light, and shined it out into the night. The footsteps were coming around to the front again, and I eagerly awaited them, hoping to see the shadow of the angel, or even the imprint of his step in the mud.
But I could see nothing.
I closed the tent window again, and laid back down in the sleeping bag, feeling dejected. What was I thinking? An angel? Even to my own ears, it sounded ridiculous. Who would believe it?
The storm was now at its worst, reminding me of the sound a freight train makes, as it rushes straight towards you. It rips right through all logic and peace.
Panic swept back over me again, as I doubted. Couldn’t you give me more proof Lord?
I sighed. O.K. Lord, no proof, but then how do I remove the doubt?
A soft sigh drew my eyes to my little girl, as a peaceful smile played around her mouth. She had found peace. What did she have that I didn’t?
The answer slowly washed over me. Faith. Like the blind faith in my little girl, I simply had to believe. I could remain afraid, or put my trust in God. The choice was up to me.
Listening to the ferocity of the storm, my answer did not come easily. Faith, even with the footsteps of a guardian, was not just going to happen. I had to work at it.
Please Lord, Give me enough faith for peace!
I closed my eyes, focusing on the sound of the footsteps, and repeated this prayer over and over again in my mind.
As I lay there listening to the sure and steady footsteps, my breathing became even, and I was filled with a deep sense of joy and peace. I let out a long sigh. Somehow I knew; we would be safe.
Then the footsteps stopped.
A total darkness overcame the tent, like a shade slowly rolling over a window, blocking out all light.
BOOM! Suddenly light and sound became one, as a whip of burning white light lashed down through the center of the tent, pulling its cracking roar along with it. For a moment, the tent disappeared, and all I could see above me, was a thin jagged line of luminous pale blue, surrounded by brilliant white light.
I blinked, and it was gone. All was black again, then the shade of darkness slowly rolled back, letting in the normal shadows of the night.
The footsteps then continued.
I listened and wondered, as the sound of footsteps fell back into place. Had the angel just spread its wings over the tent to protect us, or was it just my imagination?
I sighed and smiled in the dark. No more questions. Even if I couldn’t see him; I would believe. The guardian’s steady steps, led me into a peaceful sleep, that lasted the rest of that stormy night.
Next morning, after hearing the forecaster predict more violent thunderstorms for the next few days, my husband decided to check us into a motel room for the rest of our vacation. Fishing, hiking, or even touring the old Vikingsholm Castle, nothing else I experienced that weekend, could compare with that night.
Going through that terrifying experience turned out to be a gift from God. When I had wondered what I could do to help my child, He reminded me to pray for the protection of a guardian angel; and when we did, He sent one. When fear threatened to overwhelm me, He revealed the sound of the angel’s steps, then reminded me it was the answer to my prayer. When I asked Him how I could remove my doubts, He pointed to the child-like faith that I lacked, and then helped me to find it. ‘Give me enough faith for peace’ I had prayed; He gave me so much, that it lasted far beyond that night. He may not have removed the reason for our fear, but He did bless us with his presence, protection, and faith.
Now, when I ask God to send down an angel to watch over us, my children hear a certainty in my voice that wasn’t there before. And even though I can not see or hear him, I know that somewhere nearby, fall the silent footsteps of a guardian angel.
* * * *
“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”
“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.”
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings…” (Psalms 34:7, 57:1, 91:4, 17:8, KJV)