Feb 12, 2009

Our Restless Search for Equilibrium



It's been said that our bodies are constantly seeking a state of equilibrium or "homeostasis" in a continual attempt to regulate against outside forces so that they remain internally unchanged. Frankly, I'm glad of this, at least as far as my physical body is concerned. For instance, I wouldn't want something like an argument to raise my blood pressure until my head exploded. This is a great mechanism God has built into our systems, but I wonder if this is only part of the picture. There must be a constant battle between our body's quest for balance and outside forces that strain that balance to allow our bodies to grow and become it stronger.

Perhaps this is true in our Christian lives as well. We don't want any outward force to cause any inward turmoil; no questions to disturb our notions; no tribulations wherein we must be patient; no trials that would force us to our knees, calling out to God. We just want equilibrium. If we are not alert, we begin a restless search for the things that we believe will preserve this condition, which is both ironic and sad.

Thankfully, we have a great and loving Heavenly Father that fully understands His children. And He is faithful, if we are really His, not to let us stay in that condition for long. The Book of Hebrews puts it this way:




"3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
"MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE
LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
6(FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES."
7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons;
for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons." (Hebrews 12:3-8 NASB)
If we are healthy, we will grow. The tribulations we suffer, when God allows them, will produce that spiritual fruit called patience, and the patience will produce in us PROVEN character, and that proven character will produce Hope (Romans 5:4) But, how will this be accomplished if our focus is on seeking only the things, circumstances and people that will ensure our comfort, while disdaining any and all trials that come our way either as a result of the general human condition or by way of the loving discipline of the Lord?

These trials are vehicles for us to learn of God's great power and great love for us who believe. When we look to Him in these times and trust Him with our lives (as we have with our souls), we learn that He is as trustworthy as He says He is in His word. And God puts a high value on our trusting and obeying Him. In Moses' complaint to the Israelites he says:


"31and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.' 32"But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God," (Deut. 1:31-32 and following NASB)

Instead of looking for that equilibrium by trying to regulate our lives against outside forces, why not trust God to use whatever He desires to produce in us that true balance and rest we need?

Aaran Keyes and Stuart Townsend recently wrote a great song based on Psalm 62: "My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone". You can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmx9p6vAL1g. Read Psalm 62 before you listen. Also check out "When Trials Come" by Keith and Kristyn Getty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB1cFQcBC7g.