For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18
We doubt ourselves on a weekly basis. We wonder if we are making any difference in the lives of the people. We wonder if we are just wasting our time.
Day in and day out, it is always the same. Sometimes people are open and accepting and sometimes they are closed and drugged out. Sometimes they are friendly and sometimes they are hostile. However, their conflicting actions and attitudes do not make us question why. We are actually used to it. Sometimes we find ourselves being invaded by this sense of hopelessness. It appears as if we are not doing anything significant in the streets. We are actually trying to preach the message of hope to the homeless but it seems like the sense of hopelessness and abandonment is contagious.
Our friend and fellow team member told us that if the success of this ministry was based on numbers, then this ministry would be utter failure. In a way, we would be in good company because the ministry of Jesus would have been considered a failure as well. He did not really have the numbers to show any success despite being the Son of God. We can pick a prophet randomly from the Old Testament and he or she would be a considered a failure, too. Either the biblical standard for success is too low or maybe it is too high to be measured by numbers. Gauging a success of any Christian ministry by numbers is succumbing to the standards of the world. It is not the way of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ moment of success was on the Cross. It was the moment that he gave up His spirit when all his opponents were silenced permanently. It was at this moment that a centurion professed, “Truly this was the Son of God.” This was the moment of success. It is a mystery that can only be understood when one is struck by the power of Love.
The power of the Cross was not hidden from anyone. It was there present in a powerful way but only a few chose to see it. Those who saw it cannot keep it to themselves anymore. A new Light came into their hearts. It opened their minds to understand the new meaning of power and success.
Every week we question what we are doing. I don’t think this is wrong. I think it would be strange if we do not question ourselves. It would be strange if we were happy with the way things are. I don’t think that things are going to get better in my lifetime. However, our success is not based on whether we can eradicate the problems of society. It is about sharing this Light that we discover at the foot of the Cross. It is about seeing that even death and humiliation cannot hinder the power of Love to shine through into our hearts. The Cross is the power that gives us hope. We need to go to the foot of the Cross with all sense of failure and hopelessness and believe that the One who hangs on the Cross is able to transform them into opportunities of Life. If we can transmit this Hope in the Cross, if we can just direct someone to see this hope, then we are truly successful.