Something Greater

August 30, 2019
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Spiritual

Have you ever felt that gnawing desire for something greater in your life? You know, the type of longing where you feel like there’s got to be something more to life than this (whatever “this” might mean in the moment). For many, this longing is never fully satisfied. They keep on trying to find the “next best thing” and after all their striving and they finally have it, it’s not enough. They need something greater than even “this”.

Other times, people do find the answer to their longing. And even though it might not be what they expected it to be, they seem satisfied; maybe even at peace. Some people do find this “something greater” — people like Thandile.

Thandile has no easy story. Growing up with three siblings, he experienced the tension of having a father who lived two different lives: the loving father during the work week and the alcoholic father on the weekend. The hurt he experienced from his father throughout his childhood is felt when he shares his history.

He would ask God things like: “If You’re there, why would You allow this break up between those two people I loved? And why would You allow him {Thandile’s father} to be a drunk and tear up our family?”

Over the years Thandile, his mom, and siblings moved several times and Thandile started attending high school. He quickly grew very popular, however things began to take a turn for him. Thandile started to take on a pattern of life that was similar to his father’s in the way that he lived two different lives:

“I drifted away from being this kid who was close to a straight-A student, someone who had a bright future, someone who had a passion for life, into this person who was disgusted with my life, living for just the sake of living... I had separate lives of being this drug-addict, smoking, drinking party animal and then for a few hours I would be a ‘Christian’ for some people.”

The stark contrast of his life grew so intense and unbearable that Thandile came to a breaking point. After a drug relapse, he started attending a discipleship program at Hope Africa Collective called EPIC (Equipping People In Christ) which challenged his lifestyle at the time.

“In my mind it always came back as ‘You know, you are still sinning. You cannot be still taking drugs and going to church and acting like nothing had happened. You cannot be living two different lives at the same time. You have to choose.’ On March 15th, 2016, I realized I needed to stop.”

Thandile has continued to pursue Jesus throughout his time at Hope Africa Collective. He has now graduated and is working on staff with HAC!

One of the most important lessons he has learned as a true Christ-follower is the redemption that comes with sharing his story:

“God was trying to show me that sometimes we as Christians need to show people that we became wounded somehow, so that our stories can draw people closer to God, rather than just closing our hurt and not showing people that you were hurt before or you are hurting because of something that you are currently facing.”

When Thandile speaks, he just exudes a passion for God and a passion for life that is unmatched. His journey has not been perfect, however it hasn’t dissuaded him from pursuing “something greater” in his life. Thandile is bold when it comes to being vulnerable with others about his struggles and God’s power displayed through it.

When asked what advice he would give to someone who may have a smiliar story to his, Thandile shared this:

“If your purpose of life is waking up, eating, and sleeping, it is not enough for you to live. There has to be something bigger than you. There has to be something greater than you… I think I need the truth rather than having a ‘feel good’ thing. Because using drugs and drinking is just a ‘feel good’ thing; it does not take away the situation or the problem. You need the truth. You need to hear the truth, as painful as it is. It is better to know the truth so that it can set you free and make you more aware of how reality is; because the people who are drinking and the people who are smoking are running away from reality. So people need to know the reality: that you need God, you need faith, you need help. You need help. The most helpful help that you need is a spiritual intervention with the Holy Spirit or the person called Jesus Christ.”

Maybe you have experienced that feeling, that longing for “something greater” in your life. Maybe you haven’t even realized that longing exists. But Thandile is a living, breathing example of God accomplishing “something greater” with his life, and He isn’t finished yet.

Maybe that will be your story too.

Comments

Carol|September 1, 2019
I have lived for Christ..on my knees daily..I need an operation and for 5 years I prayed but God did not come through for me..
Kenzie Wells|September 2, 2019
Carol, I'm so sorry to hear that. I can feel your frustration and I can sense how you may want to give up on Him. Sometimes we don't know why things are the way they are, and we don't see how they can be fixed anytime soon. But our God is a God of redemption and restoration; it's just who He is! So I believe the times you have spent on your knees in prayer and the tears you have cried over needing this operation are not in vain; He hears every word and He sees every tear. He will redeem this time. He is not against you, He is for you and part of His character is restoring His people. I wish I could tell you when and where He will answer this need of yours. But hang in there. Keep praying. Keep living for Christ. I'll be praying for you, sister.
Portia Nomtebeyi|September 2, 2019
God is always looking out for us .....I would love to be part of the organisation.
Lorraine Cockrell|September 3, 2019
Thank you for sharing your story Thandile. May you grow from strength to strength in the knowledge and d wisdom of God. Thank you Hope Africa Ministry for the practical application Christian ministry you gave in place. May God cobtonucontinue to bless your ministry as you touch the lives of people in yhr programs you have in place . Er hice Gid praise for your ministry.

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