Friedrich Nietzsche said: “What does not kill you, makes you stronger.”
I guess when he said this for the first time it was a big surprise for his peers. It was the era of reason, the enlightenment, when science started to give us more information about who we are and the world around us. Today, with the advancements of science, we know more information about us and our universe but the essence still remains the same. We are part of God. God breathed life into humans and we belong to the Almighty. Even though everything around us has been broken since the fall of Adam and Eve, God has been working hard, inviting us to participate in overcoming the brokenness of this world.
One of the greatest gifts of our theology as Methodists is the understanding of Grace: Grace which is before us all the time, calling us to restoration, to overcome evil with good. But that good does not come from us; that good comes from God, specifically from Jesus, the one that has been revealed to humanity as our Savior so that we can overcome the world.
During the transfiguration God revealed himself in Jesus to Peter, James and John and the words that he said to them were: Listen to Him, He is my dear Son in whom I am well pleased. God is telling them to obey as they continue to be led by Jesus in their journey of faith. Their journey was soon coming to an end; he needed to prepare them with what might happen to those who have followed him. He did not say “what does not kill you makes you stronger,” because what he was bringing with him was not a temporary solution but an eternal one. He said to them “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus not only makes us stronger but he saves us, delivers us, and makes us a new creation.
During the past few months on Tuesday nights I have seen what “overcome” looks like in action. I have seen hurts, habits and hang-ups become hope, light, love, eternal life and salvation. Every Tuesday night I have a taste of the Kingdom promised to the disciples and that it is our promise, too.
I pray that if you are having a hard time in your life you can take heart, and that during this Lenten season you let the Grace of God get a hold of you so that God can be transfigured in front of you. Jesus is waiting. Now it is up to you to trust, obey, and have faith that with God everything can be overcome, because nothing is impossible with God.