"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them" ().
I was tired. It was the end of a long day of activity as leader of the youth department in São Paulo, Brazil. At the time I lived in the Lapa district and worked in Vila Matilde, which is around 22km away. This meant my commute included two trains and a 15-minute walk between stations each way. Nowadays this trip takes about an hour and a half each way, but today's modern metro system was a future project back in those days, when trips took much longer.
Taking advantage of the time it took to travel by train, in a few months I was able to read the whole New Testament. The Lord gave me this opportunity and He surely knew that my faith would need the strength gained by the study of His Word.
One day, while returning home, the second train was full to capacity without space for standing, let alone sitting. People were pressed against each other, packed in to the point we barely needed to hold on to anything in order to stand. There was no room on which to fall. It was difficult to enter because everyone was pushing hard trying to get in.
Once I made it inside, I noticed a young man who was carrying a huge pile of books in one arm and using the other hand to brace himself on the handrail. Someone bumped into him, and several of his books fell to the floor. It was not easy to gather them up again in that condition. Some of the passengers tried to help him, but he was furious over the situation. The worst part was he decided to blame me for the incident. At every stop, he would angrily push me in an effort to get me off the train. He was obviously looking for a fight, and for some unknown reason, he had chosen me as his target. With every push, I neared the door, and he neared his revenge.
The minutes seemed endless as I prayed in anguish. I brought my case before my invisible Friend who is always present and sees all. Finally, I heard someone speak in a deep authoritative voice toward the young man and, suddenly he just got off the train.
Thanks be to God! I was free at last from that horrible harassment. I was able to endure the rest of my ride to my final destination in peace.
When I arrived home, I called my wife and our children, and we had a special good reason to thank the Lord during evening worship: I had seen God’s merciful kindness as His Angel had delivered me from the irrational wrath of that irate young man.
"Speaking of those who believe in Him, Jesus said, 'In heaven their angels always see the face of My Father' (; ). God’s people are exposed to the unsleeping hatred of the prince of darkness, but God assures them that the angels never stop guarding them. God gives them this assurance because they will have to face mighty agencies of evil—agencies that are numerous, determined, and untiring." — The Great Hope, p. 7.