Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
As Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says: There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens. A time to be born and a time to die.
Those verses came to mind when I learned that our old friend Fred had died last week.His passing was not unexpected as he had been unwell for a number of years. That said, he would never let his illness get in the way of taking a full part in everything he set his mind to do. If there was ever a job to be done Fred would be the first to say "I'll do that", and he did to the best of his ability. He was a very useful chap to have around and will be sorely missed by a lot of people, including me! Fred had spent some time in Zimbabwe although he had returned to this country with his wife several years back. Interestingly he died on the same day as Robert Mugabe, the ex-president of that country. Two men of different races, colour and status, yet God made each of them in His own likeness and knew each of them, as He does each of us, intimately and by name. Now, whilst ex-president Mugabe is reputed to have amassed a great deal of money over time, I don't think Fred was that well off financially, although he was rich in so many other ways, and generous with what he had, too. But then does financial wealth really matter that much? After all as a first century preacher once said:' Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you"' The important thing to remember is that although their paths through life took such different paths nevertheless God walked with each of them on their journey.
So as we remember dear old Fred in our prayers, let us take comfort in Ecclesiastes 3:4 'A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance' and rest assured that however hard the path may seem, whatever obstacles are put in our way, our God will never leave us nor forsake us. Thanks be to God.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years