Can you imagine Jesus wearing the NYSC khaki, knowing full well that He is the son of God? He came from a position of vast wealth to be a man. Jesus was royalty! Any son of a King that goes to the NYSC camp will most likely be given some sort of preferential treatment because of the status that comes with his person. But can you imagine Jesus not being treated specially on earth?
Many people see the NYSC uniform as a burden, degrading and for some, shameful. How much does that matter? For most of us, it was the adventure and lessons that came with the experience that counted. The one year experience is one that most people can’t forget, it is stuck somewhere in their minds forever.
I served in a rural sort of environment back in the day, a place where my monthly rent was about N800 (A total of N9,600 per year). I fetched water from a well and practically made my meals on my own (You can call me a good cook). Most people around me couldn’t even speak proper English, they spent most of their time on their farms. The experience was different for me considering the fact that I had always lived in the city.
The houses barely had generators, so when at night there was no electricity, they all came out under the moonlight to play, while the adults gossiped about the events going on. The animals would also be sent to their various cages, so as to not end in the wrong pots with no trace. I had a real feel of what staying in their community meant.
Fast-forward to 2 years later, I was traveling from one state to the other. There was a terrible holdup, it required us passing another route entirely to keep on moving. What I saw struck a chord in my memory.. I saw a community exactly like the one I stayed in back then, and unlike the other passengers I was with, I had lived and survived in a community like that. I remember how every single moment in it was.
Jesus too had something like my NYSC experience. Being royalty, being God, being perfect, he left his royalty, came on to take up flesh and weakness to be like you and I. Many times when we go through our tough times and think we are alone and unseen, Jesus sees us. He feels what we feel because He has lived like us, He lives in us and he desires to reach out to us in our situation.
He grew up just like you did, was taught and loved like you are. We generally judge him by the fact that He died and rose again, but he had a proper earthly experience. Like an NYSC program, Jesus can’t forget His time on earth or forget the things he faced or how he felt when He faced them. He also remembers how he made it through perfectly, He will teach you too.
Are you aware that Jesus was the son of a carpenter? He wasn’t born into the house of riches. You may complain about your background, but I am not certain you’ve been mocked as a carpenters child before. Jesus wanted to minister in his hometown, and they mocked him saying “Is that not Joseph the carpenter’s son?”. The Bible later said that He couldn’t work miracles amongst them due to their unbelief. So if by any chance you lack, he understands and knows what providing for your needs also means. He knows what it means when others are looking down on you.
Jesus ate with normal men, even with sinners too. He heard their jests and the kinds of fun they poked at each other. He knew what it was like to be the weirdo, the stranger and the different one in those groups. He also had to pay his taxes, like every other man. He wasn’t picking fruits and food off people’s shops because he was the son of God. He understood diligence and sometimes not having enough.
Towards the end of his earthly life, before he was to be crucified, he prayed that the cup will pass over him. His body felt the extent of what was to come, and he wanted out. He had to cry out like we do when the going gets tough, and He was strengthened.
A lot of those experiences are similar to what you face and feel now. There were times he was faced with just defeat and failure. So even in your failures, He loves and understands you like you can’t imagine. As the quote in 2 Beliefs That Saved My 2016 said, “your doubt can’t destroy God’s love for you, neither can your faith create it.”
Most times, the hardest thing to do is to go to God the way you are and explain to him how you feel and what you want to get done. It’s even more difficult for us to find out what His plan for us is. Many of us relate to God from afar, avoiding intimacy and something much deeper and closer, just because we don’t want to fail.
Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
– Hebrews 4:15-16 (MSG)
Jesus knows and understands, will you just come to Him? Share your burden with Him? There is nothing you are going through that He can’t relate with. You really don’t know the solution to your problems, even if you knew, you can’t give yourself the strength to achieve it on your own. Maybe you know the next step, but do you know what’s gonna happen tomorrow or next year? God knows.
They say “once a corper always a corper”. When you think of Jesus, see Him as someone that has served like you, had gone through what you are going through and has succeeded, it’ll change everything. It’s like He really did NYSC.
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Photo Courtesy: Bella Naija