Joni shares about the protection of angels, and how she especially senses the protection at Family Retreats.
AL: Today marks the beginning of two of our Family Retreats, one in Ohio, and another in Florida. And we'll be welcoming kids and adults in wheelchairs from all over. Joni, it must be quite a scene on opening day...
JONI: You ought to see it! Once you get a whole slew of boys and girls together in their wheelchairs, racing each other on their crutches, trying to keep up with each other in their walkers and braces... it is one wild sight! I remember at last year's Mission Springs retreat, Angie in her wheelchair, strained to wheel her chair to the top of this hill, then she turned around and came zooming down the slope like a roller coaster. Her volunteer put the brakes on that one.
When all those kids are together, it is so much fun, so much activity, so many wheelchairs and walkers... when family retreat starts, I always think of Psalm 91:11. It says, "For God will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways." I'm convinced there are angels -- actual ministering spirits -- surrounding each family, each child, each volunteer at our retreat. After all, these disabled kids are rock climbing, swimming, out on the lake on a slalom sit-down ski, on zip lines - hey, we have fun. Supervised, safe fun, but it's still pretty thrilling. That's why when it comes to our Family Retreat activities, I always picture those angels with seatbelts on. I also picture them exhausted at the end of a day.
That may sound laughable to some, but I'm convinced it's a fact. Think about the story of Elisha. Remember when he was backed up against a wall with the king of Syria and his armies threatening? Elisha calmed the people with this simple statement: "They that be with us are more than they that be with them." The peoples' eyes were opened and they saw a mountain of horses and chariots around Elisha.
Our Family Retreats this week are a very powerful place, what with all those angels on campus -- and I don't mean that lightly. God has commanded His angels concerning people on crutches and wheelchairs, and He's commanded them concerning you. Maybe you feel threatened today? Out there, like stuck on a rock wall? Well, God has put His angels in charge over you and there is nothing that can touch you but that God has not first filtered it through His watchful eye. So look through Elisha's eyes today and you'll be surprised at what you see.
AL: In other words, you are saying God guards us with a protective shield of His ministering spirits... they're stationed all around us... and that's not a figment out of a fairytale. It's true.
JONI: And it's true because it's in God's Word. One more time, the promise is from Psalm 91. God has commanded His angels concerning you today, to guard you in all your ways. With those children at Family Retreats to be sure, but for you it could be driving in your car, standing at the kitchen sink, or it could be one of the children in wheelchairs today taking a wheelchair hike at our retreats... we've got an army around us. It may be unseen, but it's there, and we're safe. You are safe under His watchful eye, because of the angels that He has commanded concerning you.
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