I have called out to my God many times, but for the purpose of this writing, I vividly remember a life-changing time when I called out to Him back in February, 1974.  Much like the Israelites, I didn’t’ call out until I was desperate with nowhere else to turn.  The following is from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalm 107 –‘The psalmist specifies some of the most common calamities of human life and shows how God assists those that labor under them in answer to their prayers.  Banishment and dispersion in verses 2-9 – captivity and imprisonment, verses 10-16 – sickness and distemper of body, verses 17-22 – and danger and distress at sea, verses 23-32.

And in all their distresses, God saved the Israelites.  In Psalm 107.6 NASB, it reads, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.”  Verses 13 and 19 say the same thing except the word ‘saved’ is used instead of delivered.  And then in verse 28, it says that ‘He brought them out of their distresses’.  But, the same verses worded this way in the Message concerning ‘crying out to the Lord’ and which fits my personality infinitely more repletely is worded like this: ‘Then  you called out to God in your desperate condition . . .’   That would be me.  I was desperate!

I had just brought my first-born home from the hospital and having never even held a baby before, I was totally unprepared – in shock with this squirming, wiggly little creature that never wanted to sleep, screamed constantly, and refused to be comforted.  Added to that, I had left the hospital with an infection, and was in post-partum depression.  I’m not through.  The apartment complex we lived in was quite lovely in a wooded setting in a Rhode Island coastal town.  But, our neighbor under us was not as lovely.  He slept all day and partied, loudly, all night.  Sleep was an impossibility for my husband, my baby, or me.

We complained to the apartment manager who not only told us that he couldn’t really do anything about the situation, but that we should not call the police either.  This young man, our neighbor who was usually high on drugs, was the son of the owner of the apartment complex, a business in town – a pretty rich guy who would not want to be disturbed by something like this.

But, one night, I had reached my limit.  I was desperate!!  I told my husband that he just had to go ahead and call the police.  I couldn’t take any more!  I felt as though I fit into the two middle categories of the Israelites perils –  ‘captivity and imprisonments’ (there was no escaping this situation) – and ‘sickness and distemper of body’ (post-partum blues, infection, AND sleep deprivation).  But here is where the story takes a turn.

In the fifteen seconds or so that it took my husband to get to the phone and look up the number for the police, God met me.  As clear as could be, in my head and my heart, He spoke to me saying, “Dawn, you have never thought to call on Me (for help)”.  Everything stopped.  Time stopped.  In my desperate condition, I cried out to the Lord – not for the loud music and partying to stop underneath our apartment, but my exact words were, “Lord Jesus – if I have never, truly asked You for forgiveness of my sins and asked You to be my Savior, would You do that now, please!’

I, then, called to my husband in the kitchen that he didn’t need to call the police – that everything would be okay.  I had had a one-on-one with Jesus Christ.  And though it seemed like time had stood still, it had all happened in the space of a very few seconds.  My life was changed forever!!  I have never been the same since then.

But the story gets even better!  After, I tried calming my baby, and we crawled back into bed, the music and partying stopped.  I could hear footsteps in the apartment below us head for their sliding back door.  And I praised God.  Just absolutely praised Him that we were going to have ‘quiet’.  The next night, it was the same old thing that we had endured for months with all the noise.  This time I said, “Lord Jesus, I cried out to You in desperation last night and I believe You came into my heart.  Not only that, You ended the debauchery (in the truest sense of the word) under us.  Would you PLEASE do it again?  The music stopped.  The sliding glass door opened and shut, and there was peace and quiet.

This repeated a third night, but to never occur again.  We had peace and quiet, were able to sleep, and I was able to regain my strength – and my sanity!  We always wondered what it was that had caused their life-style below us to change.  It wasn’t until three months later that we learned what had happened, and it was from the young man, himself.  At the same time that February evening I had cried out in desperation to my God, the young fellow’s girlfriend with whom he lived had developed a hole in her eardrum resulting in her not being able to tolerate any loud noise.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.  But God was listening to this beyond desperate heart cry out to Him, enfolded me in Himself and brought/saved/delivered me out of my distress.  Only He, a compassionate God of miracles could do that.

Life has been one of many challenges, but since my one-on-one with Christ in the apartment in East Greenwich, RI all those years ago, my life has never been the same.  He is my Savior, my constant Friend.  He is merciful, loving, compassionate, mighty and awesome, and so much more to me.