Today is one of those typical January days that define winter in the western southern tier of New York. It’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit and there is a mist of snow and ice crystals in the air. It’s a good day to be close to the fire. Frigid days and nights are said to produce a good crop of maple syrup in a few months. Maybe that’s just legend but if it’s true then today is filled with sweetness. For most of my life I’ve wished I lived someplace else at this time of year. I’d still prefer the sun’s warmth to days like today, but I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of the white desert. I’ve been privileged to visit the Sonoran desert of Arizona at certain times and a few weeks ago as I made my way in this winter wonderland I came to appreciate the parallel between the Sonoran desert and our countryside in winter.
We all need deserts in our lives to help us better define and appreciate the lushness of creation in our day to day life. I’ve felt a closeness with my creator which I cannot describe when I’m in these deserts and it has been the desert experiences which have blessed me.
I will lead you into the desert; there I will speak to your heart. — Hosea 2:14