Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
When I was a child, I loved the idea of a guardian angel. The idea that an angel watched over me was very reassuring. No doubt this is because even at a young age I understood how many near misses there are. Seemed to me I didn’t really understand too much about the world, so the protection of a guardian angel was definitely welcome.
A week or so ago, I had a conversation with a retired attorney during which I mentioned talking about guardian angels at a hospital where he volunteered. He was a no-nonsense corporate attorney who had seen a lot of the seamier side of life. Tour of duty in Korea, years of corporate politics, and an elective official in his town. He had seen it all.
He described a conversation he had with another volunteer during which she asked him whether he believed in guardian angels. He replied that he most definitely did believe in them. He didn’t try to explain the phenomena, but after all he had lived through, including at the hospital where he volunteered, guardian angels were a reality.
Which bring us to Paul. He assured the Philippians that as they worked toward salvation, they were not alone. Unlike so much in life, attaining salvation was not something they had to do alone. God was with them, His Spirit would guide, protect, and encourage them.
Like the Philippians, God is with us. Whether we call His presence a guardian angel or the Holy Spirit or something else, God is indeed at work in and through us, protecting us, assuring us of the safety of His guardianship. In short, He is always with us. Just like a guardian angel.