Blessing in Disguise?

Editors’ note: The congregation in Diepkloof, South Africa has been through a very difficult past few years. A significant amount of conflict with, unexpected decisions and strange behaviour by the former pastor lead to a lot of hurt. But as the article describes, the congregation has recently come back home to their church in many ways.

When tragedy strikes, such as life usually designs, one often wonders about the ‘blessing in disguise’ of it all. We know that God is with us every step of the way, and often cry out loud to His intervention – His Divine Intervention. Meanwhile, we hold on tightly to our faith and pray that our good works will see us through.

My congregation has survived a storm that was never anticipated in the history of the General Church. Our pastor took all of us to the darkest corners of our spirits to show us his truth; that he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the ultimate god for our church. Such darkness could never be seen in the light, nor by the naked eyes, for years we have been nurtured and schooled about the New Church doctrines by a man who never truly ‘got it.’

This revelation shook the General Church to its core when even the bishop was tested as he attempted to end the lunacy that had become cancerous; we were all tested! The church in South Africa and the world over became hostage and was held to ransom by God’s own chosen shepherd. Moving through that situation was like dragging a very heavy metal object through clay soil with the fear that at any moment we will run out of strength and get stuck.

It is now the year of our Lord 2018, five years later, and we have finally broken free of ‘our false god.’ We have survived the humiliation witnessed by the community we were sent to minister the New Church doctrines to. We have survived being erased and evicted from the only church and ministry that gave life to us in many more ways than one. And we’ve repeatedly won every legal court case that our former beloved minister took us through as he tried us through the High court of the land.

This article is actually about the question: so, what was that for?

Divine Providence can be seen looking backwards at our circumstances. Looking back, not all of us lived through this, some of us moved to other churches. Our hero, a man who fought for us the hardest, died along the way as the Lord recalled him into His kingdom too soon. And I wondered, what was the point of it all?

The bishop recently came back and helped us celebrate going back home in more ways than one. We were officially back and had ownership of our church again—the building and the faith. The power that lies within God’s people in the General Church South Africa knows no discrimination, all of us from our different backgrounds and ethnicities moved in unison to reclaim our church from the false god that had threatened its survival. It was at this celebration that a very wise woman gave me a simple, yet profound answer to the question that had become a recurring theme in my life after surviving my own tragedies; What was the point of it?

She said to me: “You didn’t have to go through this for anything… but you did.” The simplicity and authenticity of that response still brings tears to my eyes, it drags me through all of my personal tragedies and gives me hope.

So here I am passing them along; nobody ever has to go through any hardship for any reason! But we do – with the knowledge that God is with us every step of the way.

About Thando Tshabalala

South Africa, for the first time since the dawn of democracy in 1994 has seen tremendous political instability that has translated into poor economic outlook and a looming junk status rating from the ratings agencies. My country’s political turmoil is calling me to act and affect change in the most meaningful way I know how. I have worked in the local government space for the past eight years of my life and have seen too many discrepancies against the poor, irregular spending, corruption and fraud. I have also seen great politicians that put their hearts on line every day for betterment of their communities. I want to introduce New Church views into everyday lives of my fellow country men and women. The New Church way makes a great deal of sense to me—not only because I was born and bred in the New Church: enjoying the writings and the doctrines all my life; but because I sincerely Believe. Working in government has allowed me an understanding that personal development is the only way to real economic and spiritual freedom. Real conversations about the current economic conditions in South Africa cannot and should not take place within government structures only. It is going to take really special people to affect change in South Africa, true patriots that really care about the future and the economy of our country.

6 thoughts on “Blessing in Disguise?

  1. Thank you for this heartfelt share. My heart goes out to all of you!
    I’m reminded of something I learned after going through an extremely challenging time several years ago: instead of asking, “Why me?” I’ve learned to ask “Why not me?”

  2. Yes, you had a very hard time. I’m so grateful if you are healing and things are moving forward. Be well! Ann

  3. Dear Thando, I’m so glad to hear you speaking with a strong and affirmative voice after experiencing such craziness at the hands of your former beloved leader! Such things are so unfathomable……. there’s not really any knowing why they happen, however it’s wonderful to see blessings come out of such tragedies. Thank you for sharing your insights with us. May the Lord continue to guide you and your fellow countryfolk through the changing times!

  4. I’m really clueless about “what happened”. The mystery is intriguing, nonetheless.

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