The radio in my Imperial County Sheriff’s Office Chevy Tahoe crackled. “10-18,” said an excited, agitated voice. Then nothing. The dispatcher called a Code 33, which demands radio silence, then repeated the deputy’s location. Suddenly, everything seemed to go into slow motion. I listened intently for the “code 4” call saying that everything was okay. It didn’t come. I turned my unit around and headed to the location. As a Reserve Deputy with our department, I figured I could at least help with crowd control, if needed.

Still no Code 4. I turned onto the street and found three Sheriff’s units, two units from Calexico PD, a unit from El Centro PD, and two Border Patrol units. Quite a crowd! The deputies emerged from the house with their suspect in cuffs, and the officers and agents began filtering away. Finally, the Code 33 was lifted, and radio traffic resumed as normal.

Now, if you are not up on your police radio jargon, you might not know that a 10-18 call is a call for help. You call 10-18 when you need someone to come help you, asap. When our deputy called 10-18 over the radio, he knew that help would come. Cars from different agencies would all begin rolling “code,” lights and siren, to get to the officer who needed help. The guys from the other agencies didn’t know who needed help, didn’t even know why the person needed help. They just knew a fellow officer was in trouble, and they responded.

Have you ever wanted to call a 10-18 in your life? Have you ever felt like you had your hands full, and the only way to make it out of the situation was to have help? Who are you going to call? Who can provide help in those dark midnight hours of the soul?

Most people try to weather the storms on their own. They grit their teeth, set their jaw, and try to hold on for dear life. The problem is, none of us are that strong. Sure, we may survive some small storms that way, but the big ones will eat you alive if you try to do it alone.

I have a friend who had never seen a hurricane. One happened to hit the island he was staying on, so he decided to go outside and try to see how long he could last. Now, this is a normally pretty smart guy. As the winds got stronger, he held on to a light pole and actually got lifted off the ground by the force of the wind. He said that he wasn’t real worried until the Doberman Pinscher flew past him! Then he got worried. He survived, but not without hurting his shoulder from holding on to the pole. No word on the dobie, although I doubt that flying through a hurricane is exactly healthy for a dog. My friend should have headed indoors where it was safe. I am pretty sure that the only thing that helped him was that God watches out for knuckleheads, and often saves us from ourselves!

Instead of putting on a brave face and acting like we don’t need help, we should call out for it. First of all, God is ready to help whenever we need Him. The problem with God isn’t that He has been tried and found wanting, it is that He has been wanting to be tried. People who could find all of the peace, solace and strength they could ever need and more, hit bottom because they refuse to ask God for the help He willingly and lovingly offers.

We can also find help from those God has put in our lives. We are all surrounded by people who would love to help us, if we would just let them know of a need. Nobody wants to feel like a burden on someone else, but if we keep our troubles from others we rob them of the blessing of helping us. Not only do we not get the help we need, someone else is missing out, too. A true lose-lose situation.

Help is as close to us or as far away from us as we make it. Friends, pastors, family members, who knows who God will use to help you if you just ask? People will rush to your aid who may not even know you. God has a great way of doing that!

Glad to know there’s help when I need it… Jerry

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