One of the more popular signs of distress that most people recognize is found in three simple letters. The three letters "SOS" are derived from Morse code that is said to have originated in the early 1900's and first used by the Germans as a form of communicating distress at sea over radio. Radio was invented in the 1890's, so this type of distress signal was like a cell phone to people who lived during this time. Despite people commonly referring to SOS as "Save Our Ship" or "Save Our Souls", the actual distress signal in Morse code is a continuous sequence of three dots, three dashes, and three dots (...---...). In International Morse Code, three dots represent the letter "S" and three dashes represent the letter "O", thus creating what we know today as SOS.
When I think about the distress signal SOS, I'm reminded of the movie Cast Away and the book of Psalm. In the movie Cast Away, Tom Hanks is involved in a plane crash over the middle of the ocean and he is the only one to survive. While stranded on the island, he wastes no time writing "HELP" in the sand on the beach in hopes that someone flying above will see it and try to rescue him. Whether it's with a plea of "SOS" or a plea of "HELP", Tom Hanks had it right. Our rescue comes from above, but maybe not in the way we expect. The book of Psalm is full of deliberate cries for help directed towards God. Psalm 121: 1-2 tells us, "I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Later in Verses 7-8 we are reminded, "The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
Tom Hanks spent most of his time in the move Cast Away crying out for help and talking to a volleyball. We may never be stranded on an island like Tom Hanks, but we all need help in this life. Psalm 50:15 says, "And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." As a practicing Christian for 26 years, I still give God my SOS distress signals. I have tried (and ultimately failed) to be rescued in many other ways, but nothing restores peace and strength like God can. No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, God is still at work, and He recognizes our unique SOS signals long before we even make them.