How a 12-pack of Coors Light fit into God’s plan

Published 2:52 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

By R.A. Mathews

Things didn’t go as planned last week for three Minnesota men.

Jason Gabel and Kwame Anderson make deliveries for a beverage company, and during their regular Wednesday route, Gabel turned left at an intersection.

“That was not the way you would normally go,” Gabel said.

The wrong turn took them onto a bridge that crossed the interstate. Anderson wasn’t supposed to even be there—he’d been transferred to sales.

But, as I said, nothing was going as planned.

At the bridge, Gabel slammed on his brakes and jumped from the truck, quickly dialing 911. Anderson raced past him. Both had spotted a man who’d climbed to the ledge of the interstate overpass and was about to jump.

Anderson suddenly remembered Denzel Washington when the actor portrayed a negotiator.

“I was thinking I got to build rapport and give him all of his demands. But first I got to get to know him, so I asked him his name and where he was from.”

Gabel and Anderson talked to the suicidal man for an hour, learning about his two kids, offering him food and money. Anderson finally asked the man if he was thirsty, then ran to the truck and came back with a 12-pack of Coors Light.

“I convinced him to have a beer with me and vent,” Anderson said. “And then he came down.”

Did Gabel just happen onto that bridge with Anderson who remembered scenes from a 20-year-old movie as a man decided to end his life? Or was God there?

Jesus specifically tells us that every child has a guardian angel, and that’s probably true for adults as well. Jesus says that God will command His angels to help us, echoing promises in the Psalms. Matthew 18:10, Luke 4:10, Psalm 91:11-13, Psalm 34:7

Can’t remember the angel stories of the Bible? Come walk with me.

It’s an angel who leads the Hebrews as they escape Pharaoh in Egypt, who shuts the mouths of lions when Daniel is thrown before them, who appears to Moses in a flame from a bush, and who will rescue Abraham’s precious son Isaac as Abraham is about to sacrifice the boy. Exodus 14:19, Daniel 6:22, Exodus 3:2, Genesis 22:1-19

It’s an angel who frees Peter from prison, strikes enemy forces that siege Jerusalem, and gets Joseph up in the night, warning him to flee the country. When the Syrian army encircles the prophet Elisha, countless angels stand ready to fight. Acts 12:6-11, 2Kings 19:35, Matthew 2:13, 2Kings 6:15-18

An angel even appears to Samson’s mother before he’s born, explaining how to care for Samson in the womb. Judges 13:3-5

And it’s angels who minister to Jesus in the wilderness after the devil confronts Him. Matthew 4:11

Can you imagine how many were in the garden the morning of the resurrection? Remember how Peter and John ran to the tomb and found it empty? But who was there before them? Mary Magdalene. And what does she find when she looks into the tomb?

Think a moment, I’ll stay right here.

Inside the tomb, Mary sees two angels dressed in white. One sits where Jesus’ head had laid and the other sits where Jesus’ feet had been. What do they say to her?

The angels ask why she’s weeping. John 20:11-12

When my dad died, I could feel angels packing the church, knowing one last angel was trying to squeeze in. Why had they come? Because God knew I needed them.

Angels are a real and present force in the world.

Pay attention. You may even entertain angels unaware. Hebrews 13:2

You can speak to your angel. Mary, the mother of Jesus, spoke to Gabriel. So did Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. As did Lot, when he’s in Sodom; Manoah regarding the birth of his son; and Hagar as she flees Sarah in the wilderness. Luke 1:11-20, 26-38; Genesis 19:1-22; Judges 13:11-21; Genesis 16:7-12

Gabel and Anderson weren’t supposed to be on that interstate overpass last week. Gabel said, “It wasn’t part of the plan, but it was part of God’s plan.”

We don’t begin to know how our guardian angels help us. Take a moment now and say, “Thank you.”


© 2018 R. A. Mathews   The Rev. R. A. Mathews is a faith columnist, attorney, and the author of “Reaching to God: Great Truths from the Bible.”