I was listening to the radio last week on the way to pick up my children. They were talking about an unstable region in China in which the government had to ‘enforce’ stability using means that are seemingly contradictory to a stable environment. Then the reporter mentioned an interesting statement. She said, “The more stability has to be enforced, the less stable the situation is.” And as I continued to listen to the story, it reminded me of one of my first jobs out of school.
I worked at a biotech company that manufactured surgical sealants. My job was to test the stability of the raw materials and final products. Stability is basically a measurement of how well the product lasts (or doesn’t last) that is used to determine the shelf-life of a product. There were certain conditions in which the samples were to be stored- usually some combination of time and temperature. Analyses would be run to compare the original data of a freshly made product to products that had been stored in a variety of conditions. Sometimes we would purposely increase a certain condition, like the temperature, to force degradation in order to see what by-products were there. If there were results that did not pass the guidelines, then an investigation would be opened to determine where the error occurred- analyst, equipment, or product.
I thought about life as I continued my drive. Maybe we, as humans, aren’t meant to be 100% stable. Maybe we try to force stability in our lives. Maybe God designed us to be a bit “unstable” so we learn dependence on Him, that He is the only one that needs to be in charge, as He is our Designer. Instead of just changing our situation to gain a temporary stability, maybe we should launch our own investigation into the root cause of the instability. There could be things in our lives that need to be discovered that would never be known if we were always in a stable environment. Things that are good- like faith, trust in God, prayer, fasting. Or it could be things that we need to rid ourselves of like anger, bitterness, lack of trust in God.
If we force our own control or stability, then we leave no room for God to work in our lives. If we are constantly manipulating our environment, circumstances, relationships, we are effectively saying to our Designer that we don’t need Him, that our design/control of our lives is better than His. God knows us much better than we do.
Maybe God lets us go through seasons of instability in order to see his power and experience a growth in faith that otherwise would not have been seen.