Flowers in Death Valley

Much of the Christian life feels like trying to survive in the desert. It's no wonder that this is where God took Israel to test them and prepare them for life in the promised land. And it's no wonder that ancient Christians often escaped into the desert to commune with the holy. Life is indeed like a desert. Sometimes growth seems nil. Resources seem scarce. We wonder how we're going to survive. Such seasons of life are intended to teach us to rely on God.

Just as manna fell from heaven once a day and only for six days, so we learn to pray "Give us our daily bread" and to take no thought for the morrow.

Just as water is difficult to find in the desert, we often have problems experiencing and benefiting from God's presence. When we do find water, it is at times a small pool; a tiny trickle. Just enough to quench our thirst for a moment, but we're never able to drink deeply.

In the desert of life, like manna and water, God's provision can seem meager and his availability scarce.

But ever so often in the desert, we're reminded that God is quite capable of overflowing our cup. Ever so often in the desert, a land marked with towering mountains, harsh winds, and ugly dirt gives way to beauty—however fleeting—to remind us that God is still God and God is still good.

Yesterday, a news story caught my eye from Death Valley National Park. I've been to Death Valley twice to photograph the landscape. It's not the prettiest place in the world. In fact, not much of that place seemed photogenic to me. That's why this story was so cool.

In what is deemed a once-a-decade phenomenon, wildflowers have carpeted Death Valley with colors and beauty that can only come from God's hand:

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The desert is often a harsh place, and few see beauty there. Like life, I guess. But ever so often, the flowers bloom.

Has your life seemed like a desert lately? Are you struggling to find water? Does God's provision seem meager? Appreciate those moments of beauty that break into your world, however how small. Learn to look for those things that remind you that God is still God and God is still good.

Discipline yourself to remain connected with the holy, that you might taste and see that the Lord is good...even in the Valley of Death.