Yesterday we had a huge storm roll through-rain lashing against the windows, strong wind pummeling the wall of my cinder-block home, and hail crashing terrifically onto my metal roof. I live in the Kalahari Desert, and it’s been a drought year.
After the rain let up, life began to spring forth from the desert. People came out of their houses, looking around and shouting for joy. Dragonflies buzzed beneath a tree in my yard, a sight I hadn’t seen for a long time. Birds and insects chirped and hummed. The croaking of what I can only assume was thousands upon thousands of frogs was overwhelming, and continued throughout the night, lulling me to sleep.
Animals emerged from their shelters and shook off the rain, looking around for food and a dry place to sleep. My host Mom came to me, jabbering about the rain in Setswana. All I could say was “Ke itumela”-“I am happy”. Everyone was happy and relieved. Despite the lack of electricity, re itumetse-we were happy.
Joy is something I didn’t fully understand until I lived in the desert and experienced my first rainy season. From March to October, you won’t find a raindrop to save your life, and even during the rainy season, there could be weeks of drought. I’ve only seen a couple of good rainfalls since last April, and yesterday’s brought joy into my heart. My whole being had been waiting for rain, praying for a drop of moisture to ease the heat and nourish my garden. Every passing cloud held hope, and yesterday they didn’t disappoint.
There are times in my life when the love and grace of God have been just like rainfall in the desert. Sometimes my whole being cries out for a reminder of His love, and when I am reminded of it…..words cannot express the deep joy I experience and wonder at the knowledge that the God of the universe cares for me. It’s simply amazing. We all have times where we are wandering through a desert of life, but we must always remember that the glorious rain will come, and we will be drenched in the love, grace, and mercy of God. Or maybe a cool breeze will quell the heat of the desert, carrying words of His love for YOU.
Life in the desert (literally) is hard. There have been days when I have nearly cried from frustration: tired, dusty, unceasingly hot, and dry. But just when I think I can’t handle it anymore, God provides relief. Maybe it’s a cloudy day, rain, a cool wind, or just trip to town for fellowship with my friends. If God cares so much for my physical comfort, I know He cares even more for my spiritual well-being. When I wander through the spiritual deserts of life, I can trust that God will come to my rescue when I can’t handle it anymore.
Have you been through a desert of life? Did you experience the joy of rainfall when you were ready to give up?