Do Deserts Miss the Rain?

High Desert Arches National ParkI know Chuck is going to go, “Not again!” He has heard this story before. But you have probably not. 

A number of years ago there was a popular song by a group called Everything but the Girl that was sung from the perspective of a woman who missed her lover. The title and premiss of a comparison was “Like the deserts miss the rain.” Now you have to think a minute about this, but if this woman misses her lover like the deserts miss the rain, doesn’t that mean she does not miss her lover? By definition, a desert does not miss rain because a desert is a place with little rain! Deserts, with their associated plants and animals, use rain quite wisely, in fact.

I think often we put our own perspectives on what is good or bad in nature rather than accepting that God made it. I think the Genesis writers said, “And God saw that it was good” because they felt God’s creation was good. 

Truthfully, it took me a while to really appreciate the desert and other dry lands. I grew up in the East and Midwest where lakes and streams were common. Back in Minnesota, we could get more rain from one thunderstorm than a desert might use in a year!

But as I spent time in places like Arches National Park as seen in this photo, I began to appreciate the unique ecosystem in a desert. This is no wasteland, but a place of very special life. Getting out in the desert and moving in close to life like this aster can really open your eyes to possibilities in such a dry place. If the location pictured here had lots of rain, you would see little of the rocks or the flowers as they would be smothered by a completely  different ecosystem. 

Speaking from experience, I think we sometimes want to control what we don’t understand, such as the desert, rather than appreciating it for what it is, a gift from God. The desert has been an uncomfortable place for humans, but it isn’t uncomfortable for the life that is there. They are adapted to those conditions. And I believe this is simply another example of the great work of art that God has created on our planet. Once again, for me, this is God’s “wildly wonderful world.”

–Rob Sheppard