Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”
This passage is arguably the clearest teaching that each Christian has a guardian angel. Note that this guarding starts before the person inherits salvation. I think that I am a case in point.
In the fall of 1947 the Peters family was settled in Twain Harte and my partner and I were hauling lumber from a sawmill in Jupiter to a drying yard which is now occupied by the Timberhill Shopping Center. I had “joined the church” (First Baptist Church of Glendale, CA) as a prerequisite to courting and marrying Alva. But I don’t believe I was truly saved until about a year after this incident I am about to describe occurred.
My truck was a war surplus Diamond T six by six (all wheel drive) pulling a semi-trailer. The trailer was out of rig and trailed one foot off center at the rear. The sawmill needed us to haul so badly that I hadn’t had time to get it rigged properly. In any event, the swath of space my rig cut was nine feet wide.
One morning I came down the old crooked highway 108 with a heavy load and as I approached Sullivan Creek bridge in east Sonora my brakes were dangerously faded out. No problem, I was only going about 35 and the upgrade on the other side of the bridge would slow me down further for the Sonora traffic.
But there was a problem. At that time Phoenix Lake Road ran along the east side of Sullivan Creek until it came to highway 108. As I rounded the curve and the intersection came into sight, I saw an ancient Dodge sedan stopped at the stop sign, waiting to turn west on 108. Oh oh mister, don’t try it! I thought. Just then the car leaped out directly into my path, as though it had a grabby clutch. I put the air brake pedal to the floor, but there was zero deceleration. At that time the Sullivan Creek bridge was very narrow, and I saw that an east bound car, my nemesis in the Dodge and my truck were all going to be at the center of the bridge at the same time! Both cars saw what was coming and were scrubbing their wheels against the curbs on the bridge, but there was just not room for my nine foot wide truck between the cars. This was not going to be a good day!
Talk about thoughts racing through your brain in times of danger—that is what I experienced: if I hit the eastbound car head on that would be very bad, the occupants of that car would likely die; if I rearend the Dodge it won’t be pretty, and my radiator will surely be compromised; maybe if I aim for the exact center of the space between the cars, the minimum havoc will be realized for all concerned. So I leaned over and sighted down the center of the hood and aimed for the center space just in time for the meeting. In my peripheral vision I could see the two cars-we had indeed all met on the bridge- and then there was only me. I hadn’t heard even a scratch. Nobody had been killed. No vehicle had been bent. My radiator was still intact.
I experienced an incredible relief, but instead of a feeling of thankfulness I found I was filled with anger at the driver of the Dodge. I pulled off onto the shoulder and let the grade slow me to a stop, and waited for the Dodge to drive by. As it approached I glared at it and shook my fist at them. When they were right alongside, I saw that an old man was driving, and an old woman, no doubt his wife, was sitting on the passenger side, both looking dead ahead and pretending I was not there, and, I kid you not, they were both green. They had survived without suffering heart attacks, but both of them were scared green. My rage turned to laughter at the sight, then I felt sorry for what I had done to them-after all, my lack of brakes was the real culprit. Then I began to think of how it could have turned out so well. God must have performed some sort of a miracle, either by widening the bridge or squeezing down our vehicles. I determined to come back and measure that bridge when I got a chance, but I never did.
What I did do was change the rigging on the trailer to eliminate the over-width problem, and adjusted the brakes.
Regardless of how wide the bridge was, I am persuaded that my guardian angel was hard at work on my behalf that day. Thank you, my guardian angel! You will probably be assigned to someone else who will inherit salvation before long. I hope you get an easier case than I was!