Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Nancy Merki contracted polio when she was eight years old. In 1934 there were no vaccines, so she began swimming as a means to restore her health. She continued her love for swimming and four years later came in third at a swim meet. She pressed on and broke many records as an amateur swimmer in varying events. World War II prevented her from entering the Olympics, but later in 1948 she finished eighth place in the 400 meter freestyle Olympics in London. She persevered, she overcame, and she has inspired many.
We are not promised a trouble free life as Believers in Christ, but we are encouraged by him in his promise as we trust in his overcoming, we win big in the end. The word overcome means to subdue, prevail, and conquer.
I am reminded of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
When I am confronted with challenges I did not seek, may your Holy Spirit encourage me to “take heart” for through you I am an overcomer! Amen.