Mayday!

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“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10


Mayday! Mayday! This is not related to May Day, the celebration of spring or the chosen holiday of the Socialist Workers Party on May 1. Mayday is the universal call of distress invented by Frederick Stanley Mockford, a senior radio operator at Croydon Airport in London. He was asked to come up with a word to be used in distress situations for pilots, ship captains, or anyone in trouble using a radio.

He chose “mayday” after the French word “m’aider“ (“help me”), a shortened form of “venez m’aider” (“come and help me”). Thus “mayday” has become the call that universally signifies trouble and distress. “Help! Come quickly and rescue me!”

This is the cry of parents, or grandparents, or guardians who show up at the PAYH with a young man in tow. They are saying, “We are at the end of our rope. We need help. We are desperate! Our son is too much for us.” Essentially, they are saying “Mayday! Mayday! Come and help us!”

The young man certainly is not at that point. He wonders why he is here. “I don’t need this! This is the last place I want to be.” But here he is, and we are tasked with helping him and helping his parents.

He needs to come to the point in his life here at the Home where he calls out all on his own, “Mayday! Mayday! Help me deal with my problems. I cannot remain where I am. This is not who I want to be.”

This call-out may not happen for months. It may take half a year or a year or more; it may not happen at all. He may genuinely call for help but not be willing to take those steps which fully result in dramatic change – that is, change which is permanent, the change only Christ can affect. Or, his call of distress is thoroughly genuine and exposes a desire for true transformation.

“Mayday” is a call you feel like making at various points in your own life. It may not be a call to the Lord for salvation, which has already occurred in you. It may well be a call for God’s rescue from urgent overwhelming problems besetting you – financial, health, job, relationships, whatever. But you need His help!

Psalm 50:15 lays it out: “Call on me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you shall glorify me.” Calls to the Lord do not go unanswered. Though, there are conditions under which God will not hear you, especially if you have no repentance from personally known sin in your life. But God’s ears are wide open, otherwise, to hear the genuine calls of His children.

Do not pre-figure what God’s answer will be or what you expect it should be. Whatever His answer, trust it is exactly what you need. You need to have an understanding and acceptance of God’s sovereignty, His perfect knowledge of you and of your particular circumstances.

Faith sees God in this light and, consequently, is never disappointed. After a little bit of time and no expected answer, too many people feel that God is absent or just is not. The born-again Christian is not so shortsighted. He, as the Psalmist pleads, waits on God! He waits on Him until he has his answer.


“I wait for God, the Lord, and on His Word my hope relies; my soul still waits and looks unto the Lord till light arise. I look for Him to drive away my night, yea, more than watchmen look for morning light.”

(Second verse of The Psalter, “Psalm 130,” 1912)

 

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Stephen Leonard

Paul Anderson Youth Home