Psalm 63:1: “[A psalm of David. When he was in the desert of Judah.] You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

In 2001 I moved from a rather cold and moist climate to Arizona. Soon I became an avid hiker of the local desert. We loaded up with plenty of water and usually hiked as a group. There have been known cases of inexperienced tourists strolling off into the desert with barely any water. After failed attempts to find their way back to the trailhead, they had to be rescued.

The human body consists of 65% water. The maximum time an individual can go without water is close to a week – three to four days is probably more typical and under desert conditions even less than that. One third of our global land’s surface happens to be desert. Less than one percent of our freshwater is located in lakes, rivers and swamps, which means 99% of freshwater resources is trapped underground. As a result we dig for water, which has been done since the beginning of human civilizations.

And digging we do – also in the spiritual realm. Sometimes we feel showered by the Lord’s blessings while sometimes we have to dig deep to get through to Him. Our soul gets thirsty for God just as much as our dehydrated body aches for water. It’s hard to understand the emptiness in our soul when we don’t know God, but it’s still real. Our soul has longings separate from our physical needs; and following the cravings of our soul will ultimately lead us to the Lord.

In the Lord we find everything our soul desires and King David knew that. His recorded prayers in the book of Psalms say it all (Psalm 23:1-3):

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.”

In order to thrive we need to get back to our roots and access our spiritual trailhead. A dried-out soul is a very sobering experience reminding us how much we need the Lord. Only in God are we complete. He is our home; we come from Him, and to Him we must return.

“After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead”                 
Songwriters: Dewey Bunnell

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