Peace or the Lack Thereof

Homeostasis is when an organism is equal, balanced, able to function normally. I like to think of homeostasis as a state of peace within an organism; everything is as it should be. The opposite of homeostasis is imbalance, dysfunction. Something is not as it should be. The opposite of homeostasis is chaos, if I can venture to say that.

Great. What in the world does this have to do with anything? Wow, glad you asked.

Life is like homeostasis. Bear with me as I try to work through this analogy. We as individuals are in our own "organism," made up of relationships, people, school, work, responsibilities, and any other number of things that we are involved in or tied to. We create our own little world, inside the big picture of life that God has given us. Our worlds are each unique, characterized by different likes and dislikes, friends, tasks, talents, responsibilities, strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, failures, growth opportunities, learning moments, trials, joys, and blessings. When something inside your world goes wrong, it tends to affect the rest of your bubble. People let you down, you don't live up to your expectations in school, you make a mistake you should've known better about, you become uncertain of where God has you and why in the world you are there. You "lose control" of things you had an illusion of control over. So what happens when everything around you seems to be spinning in circles? When your friends let you down? When you feel all alone in a sea of people? When nothing in you wants to be in the place you are? When the things you felt most confident in don't measure up to the standards you used to meet? When you ask for answers but the only thing you find is silence?

I get it. I was walking to class one day last fall and my head was spinning. All semester chaos had been building, propped up and escalated by self-isolation to somehow just get through the day. My homeostasis was long gone. My spiritual life was lacking, my academic identity was falling apart, and my relationships were stressful. At that point, it was easier to act like the people around me: do what I need to do, act like I was okay, say hi to a few people of my choosing, and do the next thing. Maybe you can explain it better than I can, because you've been there. Maybe that's you right now. Maybe you've never even thought about it. 

Wherever you find yourself on that spectrum, a state of broken homeostasis is not where you are created to stay. This is not where I am meant to stay. Last semester, that is where I was- that is where God had me, to learn what it means to find my true identity in Him, not grades. To discover that control can be an illusion and He desires surrender instead. To once again soak in the truth that my soul can only find rest in Him- Psalm 62:1.

Being broken and in a state of chaos is a part of life- the feelings of losing control over the things you had a grasp on, of feeling alone in a world full of people- broken people, I might add. But we are not meant to live in that brokenness- we are meant to live in the fullness of life that God has given us when we trust in Him. Maybe we are meant to lose control in order to find the One who is in control.

 If you asked me before now if I ever had identity problems, I would have denied it- because the right answer is that my identity is in Christ. And surrounded by Christians, that is the answer that is "expected." But honestly, one reason last semester was so chaotic is that I have been finding my identity in academics, in perfectionism, in striving so hard to be at the top and surpass whatever good grades I had in the past. My identity was in my ability to perform. I thought I had control over doing my best and being a perfectionist. Turns out, the nucleus of my life, Christ, was being crowded out and taken over by a need to somehow prove myself in the one way I had always been able to.

That crowding out was affecting everything. You know why? Because instead of turning to the One who holds everything together and works for the good of His people, I chose to leave Him out. Sure, I had devotions; I prayed; but I wasn't letting His Words soak in. I wasn't taking to heart that the God of the universe was working in me. I shoved it to the back of my mind and let stress take up the spotlight.

The beauty of this lesson for me was this: I don't have to come to God put together, with my report card all A's and my friendships all fine and dandy. I can come to God in my stressed-out, falling-apart, finicky, perfectionistic identity and He will restore me. After all, He is in control- He is the peacemaker, the healer, the steady, the binder, the propitiation for our sins, the King of kings and Lord of lords. He alone is where we find peace- true peace, that passes all understanding. And I'm telling you- if you've experienced that peace- it truly is unexplainable.

Are you truly listening? Are you seeking the Lord with all your heart? Are you putting your deepest hope in Him? Or are you relying on spoon-fed truth? Lending the Lord a minute or two as you fall asleep? Fixing your goals and identity in how many friends you have, how good of grades you make, how well you can recite what people want to hear?

These are questions I've had to ask myself over and over again. Because the more I feel like life is out of control, the more I realize that I never had control. The more I choose to trust Jesus, the more I realize that everything else falls into place. The more I decide to have a good attitude and glorify Christ, the more opportunities are noticed to encourage someone else and be a bright spot in their day. And it's not because I can do it on my own strength. It's not some level of perfection I have achieved. It's the peace of Christ within me, holding me steady in this never-stopping, always-changing world I live in. And that is the glory of my story: Christ. His power. His resurrection. His propitiation for my sins. And His love that abounds more and more each day, covering my weaknesses, flaws, and imperfections.

I pray you find the peace of Christ, unexplainable and all-surpassing. The love of the Father, Who willingly laid His Son down as the payment for all the wrong we have committed. The grace of God, the One who is far greater than our feeble attempts at perfection. The power of the Holy Spirit, who will dwell in you if only you believe and ask. And the sufficiency of the King of kings.

Popular Posts