Parched Land

“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle


My family and I just returned from a week in Mexico. Summer months on the Southern-most tip of the Baja peninsula are hot and crunchy - everything outside of the ocean or many pools is bone-dry. The house was surrounded fully by arid desert soil - bleak and practically void of color, and I laughed to myself at the thought of it starring in its very own (WAY) off-Broadway production of "60 Shades of Beige".


The ground there is true brown, the desert bushes and grass are brown, and even most of the birds are brown, camouflaging perfectly into the background and going unnoticed until they suddenly take flight, breaking the bland monotony in motion only, not in hue.


Then, every once in a while, like a bright rainbow appearing in a flash upon a dull sky, an unexpected bright orange or canary yellow feathered surprise would swoop and sit on a fencepost or cactus limb, changing the landscape's tune in a moment's flutter, bringing a much-appreciated lift. Each time this happened it felt like a kiss from the Almighty on my spirit - a gift dropped in my lap to open and enjoy with Him grinning ear to ear at my glee.


While we were there, a tropical cyclone churned in the ocean off-shore, upsetting and flipping over the weather's applecart and causing the once-predictable datum of sunny, dry, and calm days into those rattled in frenzy. The palm leaves flapped and shook violently in the pushy wind, seeming to question and protest this sudden change of mood and then the sky turned quickly from the color of soft, billowy blue to the color of piled ash at the bottom of a well-used fireplace; deep, cinder gray.


And then, like threadbare cheesecloth stretched much too thin, the clouds broke wide open releasing massive amounts of water in sheets and droves onto the desperate landscape. The earth's dry throat opened wide and drank in the rare offering, gulping and absorbing this wonderful cup of life.


It was an amazing sight! Where, just moments before, the desert loomed dusty and stagnant and dead, now suddenly it was like everything was coming to life and taking in breath! And, in just two more days-time, the turgidity effect of nature's way would change the sprawling and dull brown landscape to lush green. Incredible!


We also can get so parched that we feel like walking-wasteland as we live this life, right? Where everything appears in beige-tones, like a sepia photograph missing all color and delight. We all have to walk through seasons of lack and this is never a welcome part of our journey.


When we stumble on the tough and cracked ground of marriage that is more dry and less drink. And on the paths of parenthood that seem barren and without a deep well to draw from in sight. Or, the hardest ground of all - when we lose someone we love and the bottom falls out altogether. This hike sure isn't always what we expected when we set off on the journey is it? All too often, the canteen goes dry, and we are left exhausted, dragging and drudging through - one rough day at a time.


But then, in these times of want and wear, we can and must remember what God said, finding cool refreshment there in the words of life:

John 7:38:

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water." (NASB 1995)


Let us believe! Let's each drink and drink this truth until we thirst no more! Lord, let your Living Water flow into and out of us - help us in times of draught to feel quenched in You and keep going. And, just like the torrent of rain from the surprise shower in the desert, fill our parched-soul-lands with the river of Water that never ceases to make all things green, lush, and new.


Now, open wide.


Question: What have you walked through recently that dried up your joy? Are you there still? Ask Christ, the eternal Living Water, to flood into your heart, and overflow you with His presence of joy forevermore.

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