O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. Psalm 63:1-3
Because we are finishing up the barn, we are working outside a lot. Although it is fall in many other places, here in Florida, the season has not yet changed. It is still summer. The high humidity and extreme temperatures make us very thirsty. We drink copious amounts of sports drinks and tea, but the one thing that keeps us truly hydrated is water. After just a few minutes, we long for a cool drink of it. As hot as it is here, this summer we visited a site even warmer. The weather reminded me of our visit to the geyser basin in Yellowstone National Park. Although still cool, while we were in Wyoming, the areas around the hot springs are always balmy. There, steam rushes out of the ground, bubbling up many feet in the air. Most people have seen Old Faithful, but hundreds of smaller yet equally impressive geysers can be found all over the park. They blow sulfur-smelling fog into the air, which you are warned to avoid, as it eats through glasses and cameras. The hot air is all around you as you walk the boardwalks around the geysers. The boardwalks are important because the ground is so hot, if you venture off the trail your shoes will melt and your feet will burn. The area around the geysers is desolate. While the water is a variety of rainbow like colors depending on the minerals in it and the depth of the pools, the ground itself is covered in a white chalklike substance. Despite the area’s bleakness, the heat of the springs attracts animals in the winter months. They come not only for warmth but also for the drinking water. They leave their hoof prints and their droppings everywhere. Yet, in the midst of this uninviting place, where manure litters the ground, in places where they should be trampled, scalded or destroyed, spring tufts of grass and beautiful little yellow flowers. At first, did not notice them, as I was so intent on the oddities around me. The boiling mud pots and expressive geysers caught my attention. We raced through clouds of steam not stopping to see what else was around us. Even if I did not take the time to admire them, these bits of beauty managed to thrive, adapt to their harsh surroundings, growing and brightening the world around them. Sometimes, our lives can be hard. We are set in unfriendly situations. Our circumstances are difficult to survive. We long for a better place. No matter where we are planted, the tropics of Florida, the wilds of Wyoming, or wherever you find yourself today, we overcome our environment by seeking God with a thirst that is so deep it can only be satisfied with Him. When we can praise Him even in the midst of pain or sorrow, turmoil or trouble, then like the flower growing in the midst of the Yellowstone geyser basin, we stand out and our lives bring glory to Him.