During a college summer session, my roommate and I were living in a small off-campus house. One Friday night, my roommate and her friends decided to go to Jack and Peggy Joyce’s house in the country to watch movies. I was already tired and had a long day of work coming up, so I decided to stay at home. Our house was small and cozy, and the neighborhood street buzzed with traffic. A perfect night to study the Bible.
As my roommate, Ceil, left the house with my other friends, she left explicit instructions to lock the front screen door. We had no central air and typically would let the night breezes blow in through the screen door and open windows. I let my friends out and locked the screen door behind them.
I was in my little bedroom just off the hallway, feet from the front door, and was studying the Word. Peggy Joyce had been teaching about Psalm 91 and God’s umbrella of protection over us. I always loved to memorize scripture and had begun memorizing Psalm 91. This Psalm meant so much to me—it was a love letter of protection.
Suddenly I heard the front door rattle. I didn’t think much of it at first, but then it became persistent, as if someone was trying to get in the door open. It rattled harder and harder, and then a male voice yelled, “Let me in, let me in! I know you are in there, let me in…!”
My roommate had warned me that many weekend nights our landlord would come home drunk and could be heard next door in a drunken brawl with his family. He had also made unwanted advances toward her. I figured that he had come to the door thinking she was there.
The rattling and yanking of the screen door went on and on and on. Frozen to my bed, my first thoughts were of God’s protective psalm, Psalm 91. Instinctively I began quoting aloud:
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust…”
and on and on. My Bible raised to the ceiling, I was practically shouting Psalm 91 as I shut out the escalating situation.
I got to the phone in Ceil’s room across the way and called the Ruth’s House. I told them that someone was trying to get in the house. I hung up and with my Bible in one hand and a garden tool in the other, I stood in the hallway, not daring to come in view of the doorway. I kept yelling Psalm 91. The loud rattling and shaking and yelling subsided.
My friends were several miles out in the country, and I didn’t expect them to get to the so house quickly, but then I heard Angelia’s old car racing up the drive.
When my friends walked up to the porch and pulled on the screen door, it opened. The hook and eye closure of the screen door wasn’t attached at all; the man’s attempts to get inside must have completely loosened the latch.
These things I know: I latched the door. I heard the rattles of a latched door and a man half-crazed by alcohol or evil intent. I had the presence of mind to use the Word of God in Psalm 91, and I held a garden tool as a weapon. I must have had a very large angel standing at the screen door—both when it was latched and when it became unlatched. I called down the Word of God in Psalm 91 as my umbrella of protection, and the devil HAD to flee. I resisted him and his devices, through the Word of God.
To this very day, Psalm 91 is on my mind when things don’t seem right in the house or I am alone in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. I have traveled many miles by plane and used Psalm 91 when a flight was having trouble. Time and time again, God has proven Himself to me and those around me through the words of this Psalm.
I am most thankful for the teaching of the Word in my life at a young age, which has endured throughout my life.
— Jo Ann Somers