The international distress signal “Mayday” is always repeated three times in a row—“Mayday-Mayday-Mayday”—so the situation will be clearly understood as a life-threatening emergency. The word was created in 1923 by Frederick Stanley Mockford, a senior radio officer at London’s Croydon Airport. That now-closed facility once had many flights to and from Le Bourget Airport in Paris. According to the National Maritime Museum, Mockford coined Mayday from the French word m’aidez, which means, “help me.”
Throughout King David’s life, he faced life-threatening situations for which there seemed to be no way out. Yet, we read in Psalm 86 that during his darkest hours, David’s confidence was in the Lord. “Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me” (vv. 6–7).
David also saw beyond the immediate danger by asking God to lead his steps: “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (v. 11). When the crisis was past, he wanted to keep walking with God.
The most difficult situations we face can become doorways to a deeper relationship with our Lord. This begins when we call on Him to help us in our trouble, and also to lead us each day in His way.
Lord, even as we call to You for help today, please help us to keep walking with You when this crisis is over.
God hears our cries for help and leads us in His way.
In today’s psalm, David asks for God’s help in his time of trouble but looks beyond this difficult time. In verse 11, he asks God to teach him His ways, so he can rely on God’s faithfulness. David knew that learning God’s ways would change the way he responded to the situations of life. Spending time with God, learning who He is and what He has done, draws us close to Him and changes us. What situation are you facing for which you need God’s help?
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