When It Seems Like Angels Are Gone, It's Because They Want You To Make It To The Top
Where are angels when you are struggling in life? Is God still close? Why do we struggle?
They are still there, yes. No matter how it seems, angels are always around you. Visualize this: there is always an angel and often several angels right next to you -- in constant supplication and contact with God. They pray for you all the time.
Can you imagine what would happen if that were not the case? They intervene when they have to.
But we also have to realize that the main task of angels is to encourage us, and to miraculously intervene only in extraordinary circumstances. They are not here to do our work for us!
Did we catch a glimpse of their workings several weeks ago when we carried the account of a woman named Linda Nelson who was climbing up the steep trail of Apparition Hill in Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina?
There at this place where so many have seen "mysterious strangers," Linda spotted a semi-paralyzed woman struggling with all her might to get up the stony path to the spot where Mary first appeared in 1981. It is a focus of the pilgrimage.
"Upon reaching the first Joyful Mystery [of the Rosary stations] I witnessed a young Croatian girl about the age of 18 climbing the hill on her hands and knees," she informed us. "It was very troubling for me because she didn't have full use of her legs.
"I watched her as she would painstakingly inch her way up to a tree and pull her self up to a standing position. She would try and take little baby steps forward and then fall on the rocks," recounted Linda.
"Her persistence and determination were incredible as she struggled and fell on the pointed rocks."
The mysterious aspect?
Next to this woman were three unusually handsome, smiling young men -- watching the handicapped girl and but hardly helping her!
"At first I was confused and almost angry that these men didn't run over and help," said Linda. "I was also curious to why they would discourage other people who were climbing the hill from assisting. When this young girl looked defeated or weak, one of the men would come over and start encouraging her to keep going. The other two would either sing or pray for her.
"I noticed many people did not even see her. They walked right by," said Linda. "There were a few who would try and help her by grabbing her arm but very quickly the men standing guard over her would tell the people to stop helping. I found that extremely puzzling. After a while the men noticed me and that I was praying for her and I could tell they were pleased."
One of them blew Linda a kiss -- which struck Linda like a thunderbolt because it's what she does at Mass: blows kisses each day in church to the Blessed Sacrament! No one knew that...
Were they angels? Were they giving us a glimpse into how angels operate?
Life is a glorious struggle -- a series of good tests -- and while the "angels" are there -- no doubt whispering encouragement, and staving off evil -- they are charged with letting us grow by finding our own way toward Jesus.
They are not to interfere in the trials of life.
How many times have you felt stranded? How many times was the path of life stony for you? How many times did you wonder if you could make it and why "no one" was helping? In life, how many times do we stop in our tracks and give up -- saying we can't go on? How does that feel? And where does that get you?
Think back and know that it was because God wanted you to succeed through tenacity -- by mere force of will -- and thus develop a deeper spiritual strength.
There are times we stumble. There are stones that cut into our feet. We may even fall. The important thing is to always get up -- to not let life keep you off your feet, nor to stop you from heading upward. Trials are what strengthen us.
We do not accomplish something if another does it for us.
With effort comes the satisfaction of grace.
The men were smiling because the woman was persisting. She was not going to give up. Were they angels? That's for you to decide. If nothing else, it is a metaphor. If someone had carried the girl up that hillside, it would have lost much of its value. If she was about to fall and get injured -- then the young "men" would have intervened.
God is watching us constantly. So many have these experiences! All of us have angels right next to us. Often they are unnoticed because we do not call on them -- while at other times they are keeping a "distance" and letting us encounter a new test.
The end result: light and brightness and far greater vision -- the grace of accomplishment -- once we reach the top.
[resources: The Fruits of Medjugorje]
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