Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing testimonies and devotions from some of our band members.
Tonight we’d like to introduce you to Sam Ritchie. Sam is our retired band sergeant.
Here’s Sam’s message.
We live in a world today that perhaps is so different to what we are used to. In a way our freedom has been very much restricted, only leaving our homes for essential needs, only allowed to exercise for a short period of time each day and when doing so keeping a safe distance apart from other people.
Separated from our families, grandchildren and friends, unable to worship in our usual Sunday way, so much that we have taken for granted over the years and for so many finding these restrictions very hard to accept. Yet out of these trials and tribulations we have seen something that appears to have disappeared – neighbours looking after each other; total strangers offering their services to these who are living alone, incapacitated, advanced in years and those are recognised as being confined to home because of physical and mental problems.
Our paper boy, a lovely young lad in his early teens, offered to do any shopping that way required or anything else that would be helpful.
Family holidays, special family celebrations, long planned weddings have all been cancelled in order to contain this terrible virus.
Our thanks must go to all our NHS staff, including those of our own corps at Bellshill, to the top consultants down to the most junior doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff for the tremendous job that they are doing.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and not been able to say their final goodbyes in the normal way. Again our own corps witnessed this a couple of weeks ago. It feels like we are stuck in a tunnel, but don’t let us get out of the train for there is light at the end of the tunnel.
At the moment I am halfway through reading a book by the late Billy Graham entitled “The Reason For My Hope” and I finish with these words from his book.
“When the world tells us to ‘Give up’, hope whispers, ‘Try It’. When a tsunami wiped out villages along the Indian Ocean, some said that all hope was gone, yet a mother standing in the rubble heard the whisper of hope as she held her new-born son close. That new life had come during a catastrophic earthquake and flood, in the midst of despair. Perhaps the greatest psychological, physical and spiritual need all people have is the need for hope that builds our faith and points us beyond our problems.
We don’t see the water in the rock, but nature proves it is there. We don’t see what is along our father’s pathway, but we follow its lead, because He is walking with us.”