Monday, October 7, 2013

Power In Weakness

Some say that sharing my "shameless" story in Stand at the Cross Roads was brazen, and showed an incredible lack of pride and modesty.  Critics came out of the woodwork.  Christian publishers told me that my story was too controversial and even promoted divorce. Poor parent, egotistical, driven, selfish, disrespectful, delusional, were just a few of the epithets directed my way.  Even more positive feedback has come from countless imperfect people, like me, who have found hope within it's pages. Those are the people Stand at the Cross Roads was written for.

Yes, the world admires and celebrates strength. A strong person is identified as a leader, a person who "handles" life as it comes, can be counted on in a pinch, whose endeavors prosper, and who with great acumen determine and accomplish lofty goals. Strong people are powerful, respected members of society. They are relied upon by many.

Why then did I "air my dirty laundry" in public. Why in the world would I seem to boast about my failures? Was I looking for sympathy or understanding?  To do so is certainly not the prescribed pathway for attaining any degree of respect or honor in our society. Flaws are to be hidden at best.

The answer is in the words of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul, '...for MY power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong." in 2 Corinthians 12: 8-9."

If we rely only on our own power, we limit ourselves. If we rely on other people, or human planning, we cripple ourselves. If we rely on "common" sense we get "common" results. But, tap into the power of the Holy Spirit and feel His energy pulse through your veins, and you will soar to unimaginable heights and accomplish unimaginable things. Throughout the Bible and still today He chooses to use the most improbable, imperfect people to do His work, because His power is made clearly visible through our weaknesses. No His ways are not our ways.

Stand at the Cross Roads isn't about weaknesses it is all about God's power.

1 comment:

  1. The critics are by their own standards correct in their assessment of the book Standing at the Cross Roads which chronicles how the retreat center by the same name came into existence. There were an incredible number of trials and tribulations encountered by the author, Hilda Baker, which could be described as the results from her defects of character by those who have never mounted such an undertaking with so few resources yet at the same time possessing an unstoppable faith.

    Of course faith is the key, not earthly resources. This is where the failure of understanding lies as most have never been in a place in their life where they had to solely on faith and faith alone. What a tragedy it is to read such an account such as this and become focused on the human frailty rather than the incredible grace which was poured out in the life of the author - a grace which empowered her vision to become a reality.

    As a frequent pilgrim to Cross Roads I can attest of God's miraculous grace continuing to be poured out into the lives of those who come there seeking Him. None of this would have been possible had the author lived in disobedience of what she understood to be His will for her life. God doesn't promise us a journey without pitfalls if we follow him, only that He will pick us up after every fall and continue to give us strength for the journey.

    So, I don't focus on the author's failings but rather her incredible level of faith which brought to fruition something wonderful which continues to bless the lives of others. If she can do it with her faith then I believe that there is hope for others like me as well. Hers is a testament of what can be accomplished though faith and perseverance in spite of human frailty. It is an example of what we can all aspire to if we possess the faith to see it through. To do so requires that our focus be on Him and His strength for us rather than human limitations.