I did not know what dry was until we moved to San Diego in the middle of a multiple-year draught. We came by way of South Carolina where we leaned to take for granted hikes under shady canopies of towering trees and thick grass growing in yards. With the exception of the Pacific, we were underwhelmed. Dry and drab. Brown and browner.
However, the dry environment has trained my soul for dry spiritual seasons. It has taught me to appreciate nuanced, subtle beauty. It has taught me to enjoy momentary slivers of shade on a sun-soaked, waterless trail. Whereas I used to need gushing gallons to impress me, even the slightest sound of trickling water makes my heart leap now.
In desserts like the Namib where there are some years with literally no rainfall and a soaking year brings in a mere four inches of annual rain, minor components of the water system became major. Plants and animals learn to use the low-lying fog and the dew as their largest water intake.
Likewise, those who have traveled long in their journey with Jesus know that in dry soul seasons, the same rings true. When one cannot rely on downpours, one grows accustomed to drinking the dew, much like God’s people learned to rise early to gather their flakey sustenance. If they did not adapt to deep dependence upon God’s just-enough daily provision, they would starve.
The Dew Drinkers
Dwellers in draught-ridden lands
Grow accustomed to drinking dew,
Greeting dawn with gathering hands,
Mastering the art of trusting you.
Rising early, they realize
The subtleties of sustenance.
Daily, desperate dependence:
The source of soul revival.
Dew-drinkers dance for joy
At even the slightest rain.
Yet they know His provision,
In seasons of loss and gain.
In their circuits of the badlands
they know nuanced nourishing.
His presence is their portion;
His favor is their flourishing.
Dwelling in the desert develops in us dependence upon the Lord so that if and when seasons of spiritual abundance arrive, we will enjoy them but not feel entitled to them.
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to me! There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it! Psalm 81:8-9.
May we learn to be dew drinkers whose mouths are open wide for the Lord’s mysterious daily provision even in the driest lands.