One of the shows I love to watch on TV is “Alone”. It’s a true survival show unlike many other ones out there. They take 10 survival specialists, drop them off in late September somewhere where it’s going to have extensive time below zero and leave them with only ten items to survive on. They have to build a shelter, gather firewood, find food and fight the mental battle of loneliness knowing all they have to do is push a button and they can go home to warmth and family. Many contestants go weeks eating nothing or very little. When they do get food, it’s incredible to see how appreciative they are. It’s also heartbreaking at times watching them break down missing their loved ones. You’re rewarded at the end by having their spouse show up to tell them they’ve won and getting to see their joy.
I like to tell people that you can only experience as much joy as you have sorrow. You can only experience as much satisfaction as hunger you have known. Also you can only know as much healing as your brokenness. The greater your valley, the more wonderful your mountain top experience will be. Many of us spend a lot of time, effort, energy and prayers to get out of the valley, but I believe God uses them to show us greater depths of His grace and to bring us closer to Him on the mountain tops. When you’re so broken that you can only rely on Him to rescue you, you find complete dependence on Him. When you’re so hungry to hear from Him, you learn to block everything else out and listen. When He answers, it’s that much sweeter and your faith grows.
In Luke 6, Jesus was surrounded by people desperate for a word from God, for healing and for the Messiah. He began to speak to them about what really matters. In verse 21 He said, “How filled you become when you are consumed with hunger and desire, for you will be completely satisfied. How content you become when you weep with complete brokenness, for you will laugh with unrestrained joy” (TPT). Jesus reiterated our need to hunger after Him and His Word. He expressed the importance of our dependence on Him. Those words are in stark contrast with how we live today. We snack all day long so we won’t feel any hunger pains. We’ve been rewarded for being self reliant since we could first put food in our own mouth as a baby. To draw close to Christ and to really know Him requires that we unlearn those things, embrace our hunger for Him and our brokenness. He is our only satisfaction and our only true healing. When we get to the places of desperation, we need not despair. We need to trust in Him and we will learn the true meaning of joy and satisfaction.