"...and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around..."
2 Kings 6:17
When my children were very little sometimes their fears kept them from sleep. They were normal fears that strike the imagination of all small children; fears of the boogie man, monsters under the bed, strange noises from outside and such. These fears, although born of their imaginations, seemed very real to them.
One particular night, I remember one of my children was especially anxious. As we closed the book of his chosen bedtime story he grabbed my arm and asked me to stay a little bit longer. It wasn't the normal request that led to talking past bedtime. There was an uneasiness that his little mind could not express but only a mother understood as fear. No song or story or night light, no peek under the bed, in the closet, or any hug and kiss could calm his heart. He was afraid of something he couldn't see but only imagined.
Finally, I said, "Let's say our prayers." That night (and every other night of his childhood) we prayed something like this, "Dear God, please send great big angels with fiery swords to protect our house. Please put two at the front door and two at the back door so we will be safe. Amen." With a kiss good night planted on his forehead, he pulled up his covers and fell fast asleep.
I don't know how long exactly, but soon after we prayed our first angels-with-fiery-swords prayer, one of our angels showed up in the Sunday paper! There he was, in the Rose is Rose comic strip! Rose was fearing her trip to the doctors and called on her guardian angel for company. The angel first appeared as a little fairy-like angel but Rose said, "I'm still a little scared. Would you mind?" The angel says, "Not at all" and proceeds to pump himself up 10 times his size until he looks like "our" angels, with a fiery sword and all!
Chuckling out loud I proceeded to snip it out of the paper and call the kids over to see. "Hey look at this! One of our angels is in the paper!" And there he was in living color! I hung that comic on our fridge to remind me and my kids of God's protection.
Elisha prayed a similar angels-with-fiery-swords prayer in 2 Kings 6 for one of his servants who was fearful at the sight of their enemy. Elisha prayed, "Oh Lord, open his eyes so he may see." God opened this servants eyes to see the Lord's army of horses and chariots of fire that way out numbered those of his enemy.
Rose Is Rose stills hangs on my fridge almost 20 years later...a bit yellowed and faded. I leave it there to remind me of God's protection even when I can't see it. "If God is for me, who can be against me?"