I was a bit skeptical about that until I started looking at photos of desert plants and animals.
Wow. Not only do many things live in the desert, but they have their own beauty and adaptive grace.
We assume daily life includes good health, enough money to pay the bills and a bit extra, luxuries like hot water and warm shelter, and people whom we love and who love us back.
But that's not always the case. Suddenly, where we planted a lush garden, the desert surrounds us. A child runs away from home. Spouses neglect and abandon the family. Parents get dementia or die. Investments fall through or we overspend and get into financial trouble. Houses burn down or are swept away by natural disasters. What then?
We celebrated granddaughter Kinsey's baby dedication at Creekside Church yesterday. Pastor Don Ross preached about the splendor of God among us, becoming human and understanding our weaknesses and pain. We ate a wonderful meal prepared by our daughter-in-love Melissa, assisted by another d-i-love Rebekah. My parents even drove a few hours from their home in Canada to be with us. (Watching great-grandma hold Kinsey = fantastic.) Then we spent the evening with our daughter, safely moved to a rehab facility for therapy and skilled nursing care after foot surgery last week.
On the way home, my heart swelled with praise that God gave this daughter to us, so I could rub her back and pray with her, so W could help her work out medical issues and sit by her bed, so her brothers could learn to care for others besides themselves. My Dad and Mom make a special effort over and over again to celebrate life moments with us. Indeed, my memories of the day are sweet, unexpected pleasures in the wilderness.
God promises his followers streams in the desert. Instead of the death we expect, parts of us that we never knew existed may start to flourish. Friends come alongside to help. People we haven't heard from in years offer resources we need.
If you are in a fruitful, flourishing period, find someone who needs the bounty you can share. And when the sun beats down with unrelenting heat and you think you cannot bear it, ask God to lead you to a well of refreshing water.
*Waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. Isaiah 35:6 MV
*This is what the LORD says—he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. Isaiah 44:2-4 NIV
*How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues." Psalm 31:19–20 NLT
*Christ says, "I came that my sheep may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10 MV