If you hear sirens today, don’t be alarmed – it’s just a test. The first Wednesday in February is used to hold nationwide testing of the public warning system in Switzerland. If this is your first time to hear them, it’s a little bizarre, but most people just ignore it. At 1:30 PM today, over 7,200 sirens will go off for about half an hour.
This system was developed during the Second World War to warn of possible bombing. It was kept in place after the war over concerns of further conflict and nuclear war. If you hear the sirens on some day other than the first Wednesday in February, you are supposed to listen to the radio for instructions…although no one is really sure what those instructions might be. Times have changed, but the sirens are still maintained. There have been suggestions for more advanced technology, but so far that hasn’t happened.
There aren’t always sirens that go off when we face a test. In fact, many times we are slow to recognize that we are in the midst of one. But trials do come. They reveal our preparation, our capabilities and the health of our soul. Peter says we should expect testing to come.
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” 1 Peter 4:12-19
Peter says our faith and faithfulness will be tested. Not everyone we meet will be thrilled that we serve Jesus. Not everyone in our family is happy we have a spiritual hope. Dealing with disapproval and hardship can be challenging, but remember: “the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
We are to be encouraged that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Whatever the kind and type of testing we face, God’s spirit is present to empower and enable us to pass the test and prove God’s faithfulness.