Looking at Him…

Psalm 63:1-3 (ESV)

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.

Arizona is my birthplace, but the best years of my childhood were spent in the Pacific Northwest, specifically, in the state of Oregon. It is overwhelmingly beautiful with its craggy coastline, mountains, forests and flowers that grow in riotous color. The dark rich soil and the constant drizzle of rain seemed to make everything grow without effort. Years later when I returned to Arizona, I found the local plant life difficult to accept, scrubby trees in varying shades of brown, and bushes replete with thorns. As unlikely as it might seem, I have since come to regard their unexpected beauty. The plants of the Southwest must be tenacious of life, and given enough water, they may thrive in otherwise barren places. The Agaves, Saguaros and “Seuss-like” Joshua Trees are becoming familiar and beautiful to me because they are strong. Their ability to survive is reassuring and reminds me that our Heavenly Father is the Giver and Sustainer of life, for plants and people. His love is greater than hardened soil, a hardened heart, or the difficult circumstances that we may face. King David gave us the model for such times: As we gaze upon the beauty of the Lord in the midst of our dry times, we can be restored. His presence brings fresh life even, or especially, in the wilderness.

JH

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