Liberation Day today, commemorating the day when Guernsey was freed from Occupation by the Germans during the Second World War. It's an emotive day for many Guerns, particularly for those who lived through the Occupation or who were evacuated to England. Some of them had no idea about what had happened to their families for the duration of the war. Some of the children, many very young, had no contact with their parents for six years.
Suitably, the day has been foggy. The foghorns have been sounding relentlessly as waves of fog roll in repeatedly from the sea. At times, the fog has looked as if it is clearing, the sun's warmth starting to seep through the clamminess. Yet over and over again a chill wind breathes across the island and we are enclosed once more.
When you can't see clearly – not even to the end of the garden, the edge of the beach, beyond the rocks – there is a sense of hopelessness. Just as there must have been during the Occupation. Yet the Bible reminds us to keep hoping:
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33, verses 16 – 20)
Hope is mentioned over 170 times in the Bible! My favourite is in Romans Chapter 5, verses 3 to 5: "…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Hope does NOT disappoint us! We are indeed liberated when we trust our lives to Jesus. Hurray!