Dangers, Fears and God's Resources

Gordon VanWylen

READ : Psalm 91:1-16

Here is a psalm about real dangers. The perils are described in the beautiful couplet of verses 5-6: terrors and intruders at night; arrows and plague by day. The psalmist’s confidence was in the very character of God, who cares for us and acts in ways beyond our understanding.

This psalm became very real to me in December, 1944, as we were en route on our submarine to our third combat patrol. Our prior patrol had been filled with action; depth charged twice, the loss with all on board of a submarine with whom we were making a joint attack. We rescued two downed pilots, one as we “happened” upon him at night. He had been in his life raft more than six days. Now, as we passed between the islands of Bali and Lombok, we had a very close encounter with two destroyers. The next day we were assigned to patrol where the water was shallow, greatly increasing our danger. Suddenly a very real, deep fear came over me, such as I had never before experienced. I turned to this psalm. As I read it carefully and prayed, God gave me peace and confidence. The fear vanished and did not return. The ideal time to appropriate God’s promises is before we encounter danger.


Gracious God, as we encounter dangers, real or perceived, physical or spiritual, open our minds and hearts to receive your love and care, and find your salvation and peace. Amen.