Rain in the Desert

The View From My Front Door

The View From My Front Door

It rained and rained this weekend.  While that may be the norm where you live, out here, it is unusual.  Here in The West, we have learned to appreciate each drop of moisture.  When you live in the high dessert, every droplet of precious rain is a life-giving force for every blade of pasture grass.  Every Ponderosa pine tree sends roots deep into our parched soil — those magnificent specks of green that so beautifully dot our often brown desert landscape — every one of these drink heavily during these times of plenty because more often than not, the desert lives in the reality that these seasons of plenty are quite rare.

People living in the high desert know that only God can send us healing rain and plentiful snow showers. Often in the spring we get heavy, late wet snowfalls.  In fact, we pray for them because we understand that they feed and nourish our delicate ecosystem.  Without these inconveniencing snowfalls, our reservoirs would dry up — water could not be sent downhill to the ranchers and farmers — crops die — livestock fails and the earth begins to crack before summer even arrives.

In early Spring, the green tint of budding meadows is often seen lying below snow-capped ridges and peaks, just as it was this past weekend.  It’s a painting of a sharp contrasts– a mixture of fury and warmth come alive.  It’s beautiful.

You might think the desert is a very difficult place to live but it’s not.  The truth is, for those of us who live here, we are in constant awe of the beauty and majesty that co-exists in our mountain desert climate.  We more acutely see our need.  We more clearly can see the hand of God, not only in the physical beauty of the landscape, but in His provision for that landscape.  We more easily thank God for that provision.

The desert toughens you.  It makes you long for the source of clear, fresh water.  It creates a hunger and a desire for the really important things of life.

Thankfully, out here in The West, our desert climate lies beneath tall, thundering mountains covered with a seasonal snow pack that gradually trickles down into our barren land.  Rain is scarce, but God has enabled man to harness these frigid waters.  Civilization is able to store them for times of extreme parchment.  God has provided.

Still, we long for our provision to be easier.  We want it hand-delivered and easily packaged.  There’s nothing wrong with longing for the source of nourishment to come home to us.  We need it.  We crave it.  In fact, it is essential to our very being.

Isn’t it ironic that God has even done this for us?  We long for our Father.  He’s our source.  He is.  He alone reaches down to us, even when we are unfaithful and lazy.  We choose not to rest in His sufficiency which He has poured down upon us.  We often fail to listen — yet He’s there as He promised He would be!  We push Him aside and in essence create our own personal desert simply because we prefer to be the ones who walk up towards Him.  We desire to meet Him on our terms.  We too easily turn on the tap water and expect man’s provision to be enough.  But it’s not enough.

It’s not enough because our soul longs for its Creator.  Our very being knows God is just waiting for us to listen to what He’s already said — to tap into His strength and encouragement.  Like the Ponderosa Pine, we must desire to develop deep roots that soak in every drop of nourishment falling towards us so that during times of famine, we survive and indeed thrive.

As a deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God!
I thirst for God,
for the living God.

Psalm 42:1-2

It’s a good thing we don’t have to physically thirst here in the desert West.  The water comes to us — we don’t have to perform any great work to achieve it.  Isn’t it like that with our eternal Father?    We don’t have to thirst.  He has promised to comfort and to guide us – and He does.  Are we listening? Psalm 42 continues to say:

One deep stream calls out to another at the sound of your waterfalls;
all your billows and waves overwhelm me.
By day the LORD decrees his loyal love,
and by night he gives me a song,
a prayer to the living God.

Psalm 42:7-8

I find it particularly amazing that God has decreed His loyal love — He alone is able to make our heart sing in the middle of the desert.  He alone allows us to be able to pray to the source.  It is nothing we do of our own accord.  Left up to ourselves, we would be a perpetual desert, always longing for God, but never finding Him.

It’s a reason to give thanks today, wouldn’t you say?


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