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What makes survival in hardship?

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo / AFP PHOTO / Ahmed OUOBA

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, unprecedented in human history, which Christians the world over commemorate at Easter, has provoked my thinking faculty. While there is rejoicing and Alleluya shouts in churches all over the world, not many people have wondered or asked what made a confirmed dead and buried Jesus to rise again from death with the sealed heavy stone that blocked the entrance to the tomb rolled away. Who rolled the stone away?

The force behind Jesus’ resurrection is confounding if you think deeply into it. How and what made it possible? Did the dead and buried Jesus regain life to be able to untie himself and walked out of the tomb? Or, was there another force that came and raised him? Certainly that force cannot be human. It must be something greater than human, a supernatural force.

Apostle Paul, a cerebral Jewish lawyer trained under Gamaliel who formerly terrorised and persecuted Christians was perhaps the first person who wondered aloud as to what power brought about the resurrection of Christ. Paul could not comprehend it. He could not hold his inner feeling, hence, he wondered, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.” (Philippians 3:10a).

Christ’s root in God, his foundation in God Almighty, I AM THAT I AM, the God with whom nothing is impossible is what made the resurrection possible. Death has no power over God. From the beginning of creation, no heavenly being has died. Christ was not supposed to die in the first place. But he was on a divine mission to save humanity from eternal damnation. That was why he came to experience death as a sacrifice but not that death would have power over him. His body could not be corrupted in the grave like every other dead man.

After he was crucified, dead and buried, the powers in heaven that reside with God Almighty were activated to raise him back to life. Thus, it was God’s Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead to the chagrin of his killers. Remember that he had told them beforehand that he would rise again. They thought he was boasting. But it wasn’t a boast. It happened before their very eyes. The root of Jesus in God did the miracle. Christ’s DNA is in God Almighty. Nothing can consume him not even death.

So, when you are faced with crisis, hardship and other troubles that seem overwhelming, the question to ask yourself is where is my root? Where is your foundation? What is your source of inspiration? What is it that gives you hope that the hardship won’t consume you? It is your root that will determine whether you will survive the hardship or not.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had on Easter Sunday told Nigerians that the country is already moving out of its challenges under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. He said the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a strong and powerful message to the nation. We are moving out from all our challenges and we are going to a place of greater hope, peace and prosperity and abundance for all of us.

The Vice President, like Jesus, is being optimistic. Like Jesus who told the Jews that if they destroyed the temple of his body, after three days he will rise again, Osinbajo is telling all of us that the country on the path of resurrection. The question is on what is this optimism based? Jesus knew his roots. On what is Nigeria rooted that gives the assurance that no amount of shaking or turmoil will consume the nation?

The Jewish King David knew the importance of foundation when he said, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3). Does Nigeria have foundation? Where is Nigeria’s foundation? How strong is the foundation? There are good Nigerians who are committed and doing their best to see that the country makes progress. But King David warns that there is nothing those good people could do if the foundation is destroyed. The survival of Nigeria depends on its foundation. How firm and stable is it?

All great nations in the west and east including North Korea remain strong because of their foundation rooted in their past. The foundation is untouched no matter the government in power. Vice President Osinbajo anchored his hope for Nigeria’s survival on the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari! How solid is Buhari’s leadership that unreserved hope and confidence for Nigeria’s survival could be based on it?

That brings me to the story of a lone tree in my neighbours’ compound. It is common knowledge that Lagos is not a green city. Virtually, all the flowery trees have been cut down. Even in Ikoyi, which used to be a green suburb of Lagos, the trees are being felled down in such ferocious intensity to make space for blocks of buildings that are mushrooming in the area.

The lone tree in my neighbour’s compound is the only flowery plant in the vicinity. People call it fruit. My interest is not in the name but in the drastic changes that the tree undergoes every year and still survives. I am person that loves nature. More than ten years I have resided in the place, I have taken keen interest in observing this tree and marveled at how nature is sometimes harsh on it and still it survives.

At the initial stage, when the tree was undergoing its appointed natural changes according to the seasons, I had thought that the tree was dying off. I have observed the leaves of this tree turn yellow and wither but before you know it, new shoots would begin to sprout out and soon the tree is green again. I have also observed this tree appear to be infested by pests. The seeming attack changed the colour of the leaves and badly perforated them. I thought the tree was finished but in a short while the tree would blossom again with flowers.

What I thought was the worst attack on the tree was the day the occupants of the compound gathered to cut all the branches leaving only the main trunk. But in no distant time, new branches sprouted out with new leaves and flowers and fruits.

The survival made me question what is it that is continually making the tree to survive under any situation despite all the natural and human onslaughts on it. I came to the realisation that the force behind the survival of the tree is in its roots.

The roots are firmly established in the ground where there is abundant water to rejuvenate the tree all the year round. The only way the tree could be destroyed it to uproot it. Except that is done, no amount of wind, thunder, heat wave, sunshine or pruning with kill the tree. It will always resurrect. Where is your root? Where the root is determines survival and nothing else.


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