Isaiah 63:9 – In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. (NIV)
As a small child, I had a fascination with angels, probably because whenever a nightmare woke me, my mother would come and pray for God to send His angels to guard me. Then she would say, "Darling, just look at the picture over your bed. See how God's angel is protecting those children from harm. Don't be afraid, because God's angel will protect you, too." Then she would hug me, tuck me into my covers and kiss my cheek. It was enough for me to fall back into a deep, peaceful sleep.
Matthew 2:13 – When [the Magi] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." (NIV)
When Jesus was a mere babe, God sent the angel of His presence to warn Joseph of impending danger. God intervened to save Jesus from the ultimate in distressing situations — King Herod's attempt to snuff out the life of God's only Son. By sending the angel of His presence to disturb Joseph's sleep, God saved His only begotten Son so that His Son could save the world.
To this day, just as God was in the life of Jesus and in the life of ancient Israel, when God's people are distressed, God is distressed. He will answer our prayers for help by sending the angel of His presence to intervene for our safety.
Whenever we feel distressed, our lifeline is prayer.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, so many of Your children face distressing situations these days — unemployment, illness, foreclosure. Be with all these distressed ones and send the angel of Your presence to carry them as You did in days of old, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.