I watched a program on the television many decades ago, I believe it was in the early 1980’s, that today would be considered a reality show. Those who set this program into being placed three families, each with two children, into a very rugged forest area, with the appropriate clothing and food in cabins of felled trees, and nothing else, and left them there. I will not go into all the details that I do recall about these individuals, save for this one, when the show was over after their six-month episode, and they returned home, they were all miserable, not because of the strenuous time spent in isolation without any of the normal comforts we take for granted, but because of the loss of purpose in their lives.
They needed to readapt to simply working for money and things. “(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” (Matt. 6:32) What things? Furniture, windows, carpet for the floor, a nicer car, a vacation? The most valuable lesson we can learn sometimes is to be content with what we have been given, no matter if it is the items in our possession, our station in life, our talents, what we have been blessed with is sufficient to the task of glorifying God in that moment in time.
What these individuals learned, from the parents to the children was that struggling together brings people closer together, when the burden is shared, the burden is lighter, and easier to bear. In that dry and thirsty land, (Psalm 63:1) we search diligently for the Lord, we seek for Him who is the Sustainer of our souls, we cry out for Him because He is the only One who can refresh us.
When we have all the items necessary for the continuation of life, when it becomes relatively uncomplicated to access these things we want, we tend to forget the Lord, or at least not call upon Him. Our pain abates, and He becomes unnecessary. This is the way of the world, this is what it does to people, it offers them comfort and some semblance of control over the course they desire for their lives, and most will never even see the bondage they are in. There is little to struggle for, simply applying oneself to their employment field is rewarded with money, which can then be exchanged for those goods and services that many find a temporary form of fulfillment in, that is the only struggle they know.
The catch that our adversary uses is the “Next new thing” of that world of his, the better this, the finer that, and so the struggle is no more than seeking for continuous contentment, which will never arrive.
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Tim. 6:8) You have food and clothes; you are to be content. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19) All your needs will be met. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11) No matter the circumstances, we are to be content.
The lust of the eyes, and of the flesh, (1 John 2:16) cannot be fulfilled in a place where things do not exist. Those people out there in the woods for those six months or so had no way to obtain those things that they had become accustomed to, they were not available to them, and they found that they did not miss them at all, in fact, when they returned to their homes, they became despondent, morose, and could see little reason to continue in the ways they had known before their adventure away from it all. The prize is Christ, (Phil. 3:14) once you have tasted His goodness, nothing else holds any true value. Once He has revealed Himself to you, you can say with David in Psalm 42:2, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”