Lancasters and Spitfires

I visited RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire yesterday. This is a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) station which guards UK airspace from foreign powers which would buzz our borders or threaten our sovereign rights. It employs 3000 staff and retains two combat-ready squadrons of Typhoons. During these times of Russian aggression, it is reassuring to know that dedicated and professional men and women are on stand-by to protect her Britannic Majesty’s island realm.

Yet the highlight of the visit was not the sleek Typhoons with their aerial wizardry and gunning prowess, but the older, rather cumbersome-looking Lancaster (top) and Spitfires (below). These famous machines of the 1940s with their old-fashioned propellers and brittle-looking wings were the surviving few of the war years’ mass production. It was these noisy old ladies that prevented the dark shadow of Nazism from suffocating our land as it had continental Europe. The fighters protected our bombers as they sought to take the war to Hitler’s own doorstep, and played a decisive role in defending our shores from the Luftwaffe’s pummelling, designed to force us into a humiliating peace treaty or to prepare for full-scale invasion. To see that Lancaster Bomber take off, one of only two now capable of doing so, and the Spitfires follow suit, was a profound experience. Though vastly inferior to the modern Typhoons, it was they that actually saved our nation and preserved our existence.

Being a Christian is sometimes a tough battle, with the world, the flesh and the devil doing their utmost to extinguish our faith and reconquer our souls. Yet the remedy is old fashioned and basic- reading one’s Bible, praying, and attending church. Never mind going to conferences, following so-called apostles or obsessing over spiritual gifts. Read your Bible, pray for help and share fellowship at a Bible-believing church. Such things strengthen our resolve, revive our flagging spirits and allow us to soar to unseen heights.

“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” Rev 3:8