Photo by Ray Bilcliff on

Mayday is the word used around the world to make a distress call via radio communications. The call signals a life-threatening emergency, usually on a ship or a plane, although it may be used in a variety of other situations. Mayday got its start as an international distress call in 1923 and was made official in 1948. It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “mayday” because it sounded like the French word m’aider, roughly translated as “come help me” in English.

Yesterday was the first of May, otherwise known as May Day. Although the two are not related, it made me think about mayday, and the fact that many of us, even though we might not actually be in a ship or plane at the time, have wished we could pick up a radio, call “mayday” and be rescued.

We do our best to be strong and prepared for what life throws at us, but just as the pilot of a vessel must know when to ask for help, so must we. One factor I try to remember is that the help I receive is inevitably help for my family and friends as well. Pushing the shipping analogy a little further, the aphorism, “a rising tide lifts all boats” applies here. If we seek God, and seek his help early and often in our lives, those whose lives are affected by ours will benefit. For my family, friends, and community, I believe in God, believe he rewards those who seek him, and believe he hears us when we ask for help in our time of need.

Help for rescue
Lord, amazing rescue
My joy abounds
for God, you rescued me
And every day I need it
you’re my life preserver Jesus
you’re so good to me

Help for rescue
Lord amazing rescue
Though my ship’s plunging
you lift me up on wings
You’re never late, you meet my faith
Every time you bring me in
for a safe landing

Help for rescue
Lord, amazing rescue
When I’m uncertain
you point me home
When I go forth, you’re always north
I can’t be lost,
you’re my forever compass bearing

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV

© Joel Tipple 5/2/2020

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