It was Christmas Eve, December 24th. I was driving to work early that morning lamenting the fact that I had to work on Christmas Eve. The morning was blustery cold for Jacksonville, Florida, and it didn't help boost the mood I was in. The sun was about to peek its head out of the eastern horizon because the whole sky was tinted with varying shades of pink. At least the sky is beautiful I muttered to myself trying to dismiss from my mind all the things I needed to do that morning.
Then, I saw something that brought goose bumps to my skin. The cloud formation in the sky ahead was unmistakably that of an angel. Against a background of a beautiful tinted-pink sky, a fluffy white angel appeared to be flying down from heaven to earth with a scroll in his hands as if proclaiming once more the good news of the Saviour’s birth. The scene was impressive, and I was in total awe. Enraptured, I slowed the car down, taking the scene in and realizing how close Heaven is to earth. All the ill feelings I had about working on Christmas Eve dissipated, and love, joy and peace filled and warmed my heart.
In spite of the fact that Christmas has been too commercialized and many of the festivities associated with the Christmas holiday are of a worldly and pagan nature, my mind was directed to the Biblical account of Christ's birth. The shepherds were tending their sheep one night two thousand years ago when an angel of the Lord appeared unto them saying, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. They fell down and worshipped their new born King, and they broadcasted to the regions beyond the birth of the long-awaited Messiah. Many marveled and wondered about the Child that the shepherds said was born in Bethlehem.
The angels are messengers from God. They minister to those who are heirs to salvation (Hebrews 1:14). Some people claim that they have actually seen angels, wings and all. Others claim they have seen angels in the form of human beings who come to them at a critical time to help in difficult and dangerous situations. After they are helped and they turn to thank their benefactors, the angels in human form are gone.
The closest that I've come to seeing an angel was in my dream. In this dream, I saw an angel coming out of heaven with a garden hose and flying to me. He was watering everything around him including me. I was trying hard to dodge getting watered, but it seemed that the more I dodged, the more wet I got.
Finally the angel finished watering and was gone. It seemed in my dream that I was transported to an elevated platform where I could see my house and my yard and the surrounding areas below. My property was vibrant with living green. Plants and flowers in edenic beauty and color teemed everywhere. I was ecstatic. I looked again, and I noticed that my neighbors’ properties and surrounding areas for miles were drab, brown and dead. They were not watered by the angel. In my dream I was rejoicing because I and my property were watered by one of God's angelic host!
People say that dreams are nothing. But I like to think of this dream as something. As long as I stay connected with Heaven--as long as I am connected to the Vine, the Lord Jesus Christ, I shall be nourished with the Bread of Life and watered from the Springs of Living Water. I shall flourish and be fruitful in God's Beautiful Garden.
Like the Christmas angels who brought good tidings of great joy to the shepherds long ago under a starlit Judean sky, the angels today, even if only in cloud formations or in dreams, can bring good tidings of faith, peace, hope, and joy to strengthen and encourage us in our walk with God--to make the Christmas story come alive and warm our hearts on a cold blustery morning.