Thought from Sainthill - July 2021
When I left my church in Brentford, West London, after 20 happy years, I did not do so because I wanted to (nor did they want me to!) but because it was the right time. It was the hardest thing to do. A lady in the church remarked at the time, “Something can be right and still be heart-breaking.” That applies in a lot of human experience, probably in yours too.
The writer of Ecclesiastes in the Bible summed it up in a beautiful poem; I expect you’ve heard it:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
So: children leave school (only a moment since they were in Reception class!), the last one leaves home, the nest is empty, we change lifestyle or job, we move house, we retire, we leave relationships. It’s all heart-breaking, yet we know it’s right: “there is a time”. We cannot grow without change, and without feeling the ‘collateral damage’ of roots pulled up, precious and familiar things left behind. But I believe God is -or can be- in it, with the best interests of us all in his heart. The writer of the poem goes on to say, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
I pray that we will find that beauty in such experiences. But we need God’s help; we need him to be with us. And throughout scripture he promises that.
With my good wishes and prayers,
David (Minister, Sainthill Baptist Church. Telephone, 260071)