Earlier today on Bellshill Salvation Army Band’s Facebook page I shared the devotions which I’d shared at the practice last night. I’d like to share part of these devotions with you tonight.
A few years ago we moved from the flat we’d lived in from the time we were married, into what had been my parent’s house. Even after a few years of living there we’re still working our way through each room to redecorate/reorganise it!
After living in a flat form when we were married, we definitely needed the extra space we now had in the house, and the loft space was particularly welcome as it gave us lots of additional storage space.
The loft contains a wide variety of things of ours and of my parents, including
- lots of my Dad’s music and several trombones – he was well known in the jazz and ‘big band’ world, and also did a lot of his own arrangements and compositions; and
- things from my childhood; and
- paperwork and photos from past times that my parent had wanted to keep.
While in the loft one day I knocked over one of the bags and some and found myself transported back to days when things I’d long ago forgotten came flooding back to me. One of the photos I found was taken at Rutherglen Salvation Army, and it reminded of something that I hadn’t thought about for a long time – there were a few people at Rutherglen, that when they first saw you on a Sunday morning, as well as saying hello or good morning, would also ask, “How’s your faith?”. I must be honest and say, I always felt really uncomfortable and under pressure whenever they asked me that question, so I used to try and avoid speaking to them rather than blurting out ‘I was fine’ or ‘ok’ regardless of what my truthful answer should have been!
If I were to be asked, “How’s your faith?” today, I my answer would be different, and definitely more positive as my faith is stronger now than it ever was in those days when I was regularly asked that question. When I first had some health issues, went through some very difficult, stressful and painful times, where I felt alone and abandoned not only by friends, but by God for a number of years. However when life finally seemed brighter, it became clear to me that even when I was at rock bottom, God had not abandoned me at any point, but instead it was Him who had actually guided and supported me through those darkest days. The following verses from The Message translation really summed up how I felt.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)
I still find life overwhelming at times. However, when it is, I read those verses from Philippians, and remind myself that just believing in God isn’t sufficient, because I also needed my faith to help me trust Him in every situation.
My question to each of you is, how is your faith?