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Roger's S-O-S

Struggling to reach the harbour


When you are in trouble, send God an S-O-S, and He will help you in your time of need.


Psalm 91:15.


Distress Signals:

In Morse, the International Distress Signal is "S-O-S".  This means "Save-Our-Souls" and is the distress signal that ships can send out if they are in trouble or are sinking.  Today this has been largely replaced by "Mayday ... Mayday".

In the old days ships did not have radios that could carry voice messages.  They had to transmit a tone signal using a morse key.  This gave a "Dot" or a "Dash" sound.  Samuel Morse invented a code of dots and dashes for the letters of the alphabet.  This is known as the Morse Code.

The Morse code for the S-O-S distress signal is:

. . .  _ _ _  . . .

In transmitted tones this would be: "Dot-Dot-Dot    Dash-Dash-Dash    Dot-Dot-Dot".  You can pretend that you are a radio transmitter and the captain is sending out an S-O-S through you.  What would it sound like? (Let the children respond).


Are the Batteries Charged?

Years ago, Roger lived in a small cottage on the edge of a fishing harbour.  One windy day, Roger ran down to the small harbour.  He was disappointed that Father had said that he couldn't go fishing with him.  But, he decided that he would help get the fishing boat ready anyway.

They loaded all the fishing gear and the transmitter/receiver radio into the boat's cabin.  "Are the batteries charged?" asked Roger.   His father grinned at him and teased, "Oh, I don't know.  Are you afraid that I may sink and have to swim home?"

Roger looked serious.  "It's autumn now and gales blow up awfully fast!"  His father patted his son's head.  "I was only teasing you.  The batteries are fully charged and I tested out the radio before we left home."

The Storm:

Roger felt relieved and waved goodbye to his father as he watched the fishing boat motor out to sea.

That afternoon a terrible storm blew up.  Roger stood anxiously looking out of the window as a gale started to howl around their house and bang the window shutters.  He asked his mother "Will Dad be all right?"   His mother replied "I hope so, dear.  I know your father took the radio with him.  But, let's ask Jesus to keep him safe."

And so they prayed and asked Jesus to be with Dad in the boat and bring him safely back again.

It's an S-O-S!

An hour slowly past, and still the storm lashed their house.  Just then a faint message came over their radio, "S-O-S, please help me, my engine has seized up and waves are sweeping over my boat."

Mother stopped ironing and cried "Quick Roger, that's Dad.  Run down to the Lifeboat Station and tell the Captain to launch the lifeboat straight away!"

How did that S-O-S sound children? (Let them make a S-O-S sound).

Life Boat Away!

Fortunately, the Lifeboat Station was only one street away.  As Roger ran in breathlessly, the Captain said "There you are!  We heard the S-O-S and are launching the lifeboat.  Don't worry Son, we will rescue your father."

The lifeboat slid down the runners will a full crew on board.  Roger watched them pull away and then sat down on the jetty and huddled deeper in his raincoat.  Spray rained down on him from huge waves that thundered against the sea wall.

"Is Dad safe?" he wondered and then whispered a quiet prayer, "Please Jesus, keep my Dad safe!"  He sat anxiously waiting for what seemed hours.  What was that?  He got to his feet and peered into the spray.

There!  A boat was approaching the harbour, and plunging up and down in the waves.  And yes, just faintly behind was another boat.  It was being towed.  Was it? .... Yes it was!  He jumped with joy as he realised it was his father's fishing boat.

Safe and Sound!

Dad was safe!  "Thank you Jesus!" gasped Roger and later he hugged his father as he climbed dripping wet out of the fishing boat.  "Well, Roger, someone must have sent up a prayer to God.  I thought that my last day had come," said Dad as they stood looking at the damage the storm had caused.

"Dad, we prayed to Jesus when we heard your S-O-S and He helped you.  I'm so glad that you took the radio this morning."

Father turned to go home, "So am I, Son.  God certainly heard your prayer. Let's go home to Mom and thank Jesus for helping me."  And so they did, as they warmed themselves around a roaring fire.  They bowed their heads and gave thanks to God for Dad's deliverance.

God Hears and Answers!

We have a Great Big God who cares for us very deeply.  We should talk to God in prayer every day and when we are in trouble we can ask Him for help.  In Psalm 91:15-16, God promises:

"He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him.
I will be with him in trouble.  I will deliver him and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation."

The next time you are in trouble send God an S-O-S.  He will hear you and help you in your time of need!  Let's make our S-O-S sound once more so that we won't forget to call on God.

God bless!

Copyright © Sharon Children's Ministries

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