Cry For Help
BY PASTOR TONY REA | AUGUST 24, 2020
I Can (series)
It wasn’t the hottest summer on record, but in July, 1983, the afternoon temperature soared up into the 90s for several days in a row. With the heat index, the high humidity, and a dark-blue police uniform, believe me when I tell you, it felt like 100 plus degrees. On one such day the heat was so intense you could cut it with a knife when my partner and I received a radio run to the north end of the precinct. This wasn’t our typical scout car area—we were assigned to scout 13-11A in the south end—but since there were no other patrol cars in service at the time, the dispatcher apologized for having to send us up north.
We were responding to a domestic disturbance complaint; the caller said intoxicated neighbors were fighting in the backyard. This type of radio run, although potentially dangerous, usually did not require a high-priority response since no weapons were involved. As such, on our way to the neighborhood disturbance, the dispatcher actually called us off and re-routed us to a different location a few miles away. The new radio run was broadcast as a residential breaking and entering in progress. We hustled over to the new location only to learn the so-called B and E (breaking and entering) had taken place earlier in the week. We then gathered all the information we needed to file a burglary preliminary complaint report.
As soon as we called in service, the dispatcher sent us back to the original neighborhood disturbance location. By the time we arrived, about 30 minutes after the initial call, the neighborhood gathering had evolved into an unruly crowd. A group of people, probably 12 to 15 men and women, were arguing and yelling at one another; and it was very obvious, they had been drinking—a lot! As soon as we exited the scout car, the crowd turned their attention and hostility toward us; and in no uncertain terms, they demanded we get off their property. We explained we had received a complaint and just wanted to speak with the owner of the residence.
At that point, several people physically attacked me and began to push me towards the scout car, yelling at me to leave the area. My partner rushed to my assistance and was immediately confronted by two men who assaulted him without provocation. In the scuffle, they stripped him of his gun and portable police radio, which was lying on the ground a few feet away. I desperately wanted to grab the radio and call for much needed back-up, but I knew I had to secure my partner’s .357 Magnum before someone else picked it up. I dove to the ground to recover the gun and out of the corner of my eye saw a man reach down, snatch the police radio, and take off running.
When I picked up my partner’s revolver off the ground, someone in the crowd yelled, “He has a gun!” At that, most everyone backed off, some even scattered; and thankfully, after a little pushing and shoving, we were able to regain control of the situation without use of any additional force.
Once the scene was secure, we accessed the scout car radio and called for backup. The two men who started the altercation were arrested for disorderly conduct. Both were released with ordinance violations (tickets) a few hours later, after they sobered up a bit. We never recovered the portable police radio.
Now as you might imagine, this particular incident had the potential to get ugly in a hurry. Even though initially there were no weapons involved, my partner’s displaced gun could have easily been used in a deadly way if it fell into the wrong hands.
What made matters worse, we had no radio communication. As I mentioned earlier, we dropped and then lost the portable radio; and during the altercation itself, we were too busy fighting for our lives and could not get to the patrol car radio. We needed help, but couldn’t call for help. Fortunately for us, we came away from that neighborhood fiasco with just a few minor scrapes and bruises. It could have been a whole lot worse.
Do you know many believers choose to handle spiritual warfare altercations with the enemy all by themselves? Instead of immediately calling out to God in prayer and appealing to the Lord for help, oftentimes we attempt to handle the situation alone. The Bible makes it very clear, in the time of trouble, God will be there for us. He will never abandon us, leave us, or forsake us. Please don’t attempt to do life all by yourself, the victory is ours—the battle belongs to the Lord! At the first sign of trouble, I strongly encourage you to break radio silence and make your prayer requests known to God.
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
…call on Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you…
Call to Me, and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
…I will contend with those who contend with you…
The Lord will fight for you…