And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth.
This begins chapter 7 in Revelation. We can read on to learn of destruction to all the sinners, but I really don’t think that is necessary. Too much has been written about how God will punish the people for their sins.
I view this a different way. There are four angels of God watching over the Earth. They are commissioned to help us in our time of need. The author of Revelation may then proceed to introduce mayhem and destruction, but I take this on a more personal level. I believe that one of the angels is always on watch reading to swoop down in my defense if I am in trouble. Another one is there to do the same for you.
I trust this, because my prayers were answered when I was really crushed by pain, depression, and lacking the will to continue, be it teaching, or praying. In my anguish, I reached out in hopes of having some positive thing happen to me. It did, almost immediately. My pain was gone, I had no need of my canes, and I not only continued teaching, but I went on to serve those in my church as a prayer minister, and eventually as a member of the vestry.
I could not do this without God’s intervention in my life. He sent one of his angels, some may call this the Holy Spirit, to lift me from my distress. God does not send hardships to us; he (and his angels) are there to lift us above the hardships that society places before us.
I have recently read two books about the experiences that US pilots had as prisoners during the Vietnam War. Their treatment was horrific to say the least; they were pressed beyond all comprehension, beaten, psychologically tortured, and in many cases had bones broken, which were not reset by their captors. Both of these men said that their lives became worth living, their punishment was easier to endure, when they did one thing. They began to pray for their captors and torturers. When I read this, I was amazed, and each time I think on these men, I am reassured that in their time of greatest need, when society had basically forgotten them, their personal angel was sent by God to comfort them. God did not put them in their cells, society did; the society that began the war and the society that captured them. God was present to make their suffering bearable.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that God is always in our lives to carry us over the tough times, comfort us, so that we are able to endure what is there and return to a life of love and grace after the incident passes. Even when that incident ends in the death of the body. God opens his welcoming arms to receive us into his eternal grace.