TB Joshua tragedy and our compassion


[notice]A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.[/notice]

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”—Isaiah 54:17.

T B Joshua.
T B Joshua.

What is the heritage of faith? What did the Lord die for us to have? What kind of family does He want us to be? We are His children? ALL OF US! How does Our Father want us to be? Like all siblings we fight with each other over the most mundane things! Style of preaching; too much loud music, is he really called, he is not anointed. I am not going to that church because they do not speak in tongues. The list goes on and on and on.

In Psalm 133 verse 1 the psalmist shares a beautiful truth: “How pleasant it is when brethren live in unity”. I believe that is the heart of God for His children. As a parent I know that it is mine. It blesses my heart when my children look out for each other.

What is the heritage that you want for your family?

Shared pain
No matter how angry I am with any of my children when they pain I pain. I can be disciplining them and a minute later they are in my arms.

In Luke 5 verse 11-32 We read about the story of the lost son. The story deals with many themes but mainly compassion; forgiveness and the father heart of God. We read about how the younger son asked for his inheritance from his father; how he messed up his life and got to his senses and went back home. When he was far his beloved dad saw him and ran to his son embracing him in his arms welcoming him home. The father showed his son that he still loved him despite what happened in the past.

The older brother felt jealous seeing his younger getting all the attention when he has messed up. He reminded his dad what his precious son had done and that he did not deserve the celebration. The father reminded his elder son that his brother was lost and now he is found. He was dead and now he is alive!!!!!!!!!!!

He is a God of compassion!!!!!!!!

My children are quite young and so at this stage in my life I have to be alert to where they are. When we are in a group of people I am always looking to see where they are as children can easily get lost. At a mall or the beach I always want to see them.

I can only imagine it was a taxing emotional rollercoaster this Biblical father went through being worried about his son’s safety! Where is he?  What is he eating? Who is he eating with? IS HE SAFE? He must have imagined the worse hence he says in Luke 15 verse 24, “This son of mine was dead and now he is alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pointing fingers
As South Africa mourns the lives of those who died in the recent tragedy in Nigeria where a building collapsed killing 67 of our countrymen and women there is a father whose son was at TB Joshua’s church the day it collapsed and lost his life. The father has no way of knowing if his son is dead or alive and is in a state of constant panic. There is a wife who is wondering about a state of her beloved sweetheart. He has not called in days! The constant worrying about their wellbeing in the midst of all the reports must be challenging. As the church is pointing fingers at TB Joshua’s credentials: is he a fake is he not a fake?  Does he work for the devil? Is he a false prophet, can we spare a thought about the families who have lost their loved ones in the collapse of that building. Can we offer a prayer of gratitude for the ones who survived the collapse and who are being welcomed back home and whose families are rejoicing at their safe return.  Like the father who spent countless day and nights worrying about his precious son to see his face when he must have lost hope that he would ever see them again alive again. OH THE RELIEF HE MUST HAVE FELT WHEN HE SAW HIM ALIVE!!!!!!!!. At that moment nothing else mattered. It didn’t matter that he left in a state of rebellion. It didn’t matter that he squandered the money. It didn’t matter that his son was dirty and smelly. WHAT MATTERED WAS THAT HIS SON WAS ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE WAS HOME. He could see him. He could touch him. As he embraced him in his arms he son was standing alive.

There are many families who are not rejoicing today and will not be rejoicing for a very long time. Precious loved ones came back home lifeless. There is a mother and a father who was in South Africa and heard the news that” Your daughter was one of the….. SHE DID NOT MAKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!” There are families in South whose hearts are breaking. There are some family members who are choosing to numb the pain and not talk about it and just concentrate on arranging for the funeral.

So many people are like the elder son who choose to refocus the spotlight to the younger son’s faults and reminds his father that this son of yours has actually messed up. He is an embarrassment!  What he was saying in actual fact was he deserves all the bad that happened to him. HE DESERVES TO BE PUNISHED! Why have you forgiven him? Christians and non- Christians alike are divided in their loyalty for or against TB Joshua. The man does have a big following.

Some are living the tragedy daily
Condolences go to the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy of the collapse of TB Joshua’s church guesthouse. They will be missed in a way that we will never know unless we have lost a loved one we deeply cherished. As the church, seemingly, is fighting among itself so many of us have heard the president saying we should mourn and we are going about our daily lives until we read a newspaper; read on social media or watch the news and we remember. Unfortunately others can’t switch off the remote and choose not to watch. They are living the tragedy daily. To them this is not part of  news bulletin they have a choice to watch or not to watch. They are living the reality of losing a loved one.

They do not have the thrilling pleasure of saying this son of mine was dead and now he is alive. He was lost and now he is found!!!

 With the recent tragedy at the SCOAN under the leadership of TB Joshua the world is watching how the Christian community will deal with the aftermath. Jesus came to heal the broken hearted. While we are busy arguing about the validity of Joshua’s prophetic call there are people whose loved ones have died. Are they being ministered to? Will we continue with the accusations about whose fault is was that the building collapsed. Will we mirror the relationship of these two brothers? What is the heritage we are busy building with all the judging? Will we not deal with this in an effective fashion if we deal with it in ONE VOICE being there for each other? That is the Father’s heart. God delights when brethren dwell in unity. It blesses His heart. He loves those who died; He loves their families and He loves TB Joshua.

Will we be caught up in the debates of why the building collapsed? We can go and minister hope to the hopeless; restoration and wisdom to those who lost loved ones. We can go about giving ministry to the broken hearted including TB Joshua!!!!!!!!!

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