I was an ambulance driver in Cleveland, Ohio for three years when I was a young woman. I learned that one really needs to keep a serious outlook on many things, but a sense of humor really helps as well.

On occasion, the dispatching team shared stories about the incoming phone calls they received from the public. I realize their job can be very stressful at times, but I am certain all the 911 call receivers agree that not taking everything too seriously helps them do their jobs well.

Recently, my sister and I  were talking. She works with the elderly in a nursing home and told me one of the resident’s family called 911 because they could not find their parent’s dentures. I was a little disgusted and said, “You can’t call 911 for lost items.” My sister proceeded to give me an education in Georgia 911 calls. She said, “We have residents call 911 all the time. They call and say they need a bedpan…” That’s when I began to laugh hysterically. I immediately heard the 911 operator say, “911- what’s your emergency?’ to receive “I need the bedpan” at the other end. Even though it is pretty sad when the elderly may not be able to get staff to respond to them and they resort to calling for help – any help – even 911, wouldn’t you just love to be the 911 operator for that call?  We must have laughed for 20 minutes thinking of this. She said she felt all the cell phones should be taken from the residents. We laughed more.

My sister said the 911 dispatchers call the home to inform them of the call and ask if the staff will handle the call. Problem solved, no charges filed. No harm done.

I remember how I chuckled when I first read Psalm 44.23-36. The children of Israel were in distress and it seems like the 911 verse of the Bible – ‘Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arouse Yourself, cast us not off forever! Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and our oppression? For our lives are bowed down to the dust; our bodies cleave to the ground. Rise up! Come to our help, and deliver us for Your mercy’s sake and because of Your steadfast love!’

They sound pretty desperate. I know I have and have made 911 calls to God on more than one occasion. He is a very present help in time of need. He will respond. (Psalm 46.1) Even though I think He has forgotten, decided not to, out helping someone else, very slow, and more, He is on the job and will help.

Psalm 121 encourages me. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from where comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’

We have His Word on it. He will help. He does not sleep or slumber. He is always working and always talking.

We can call on Him anytime and in any emergency!

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