. . . In the Dry Places . . .

Yes.  There is water.  Even in the driest places . . .

Recently, I drove through the Mojave Desert with my daughter.  I was stunned by the apparent bone-dry desolation that stretched as far as the eye can see.  Quite literally, a picture of thirst.  Stark sand interrupted here and there with scrubby low foliage, desert willows, and the Seuss-esque Joshua tree.  It's like we had been beamed to a distant planet.

Here and there, we crossed a wash.  In an area that normally gets only about 2 inches of rain annually, the run-off rushes like a flash flood to low ground.  Best not build your house there.

Along the horizon, or up by the road, we saw barren, towering, rocky formations looking as if a giant hand had pushed them skyward or dropped them in clay-like fistfulls back to the earth.  I didn't realize we were climbing until my ears popped and we glimpsed some heart-stopping overlooks.

Regaining a perspective of this barren land, I could begin to fathom that even here, the hand of God has etched out a picture of Providence.  In this arid wasteland, so near Death Valley, bits of green do exist.  They persevere through the drought.  Desert wildlife -- coyotes and spiders and such -- forage through life with a combination of determination and sheer grit.  Above all, I was awed by the singular beauty of the place.

I thank my Lord for giving this soul, so accustomed to the green of Middle Tennessee, a glimpse into the desert life -- into the hard-knock kind of school Moses and the Hebrew children endured.  Not unlike the geography where John the Baptist and Jesus prepared for ministry.  The seminary of growth . . .

When life drains us parched and weak, we serve a God who sees.  Who opens eyes.  Who sustains.  And, like Hagar, we can go on.  Like the Samaritan woman, we find Living Water.

Jesus is the Living Water . . . . and He is good.

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for You, my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory.

Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.

I will praise You as long as I live

and in Your name I will lift up my hands.”

Blessings on your life’s journey,

— Psalm 63:1 - 5 NIV