Dry and Thirsty

by Pastor Doug Engel

It sure has been dry lately! Our current weather reminds me of an assignment my English teacher gave me when I was in high school. She asked her students to interview a senior citizen who had lived through the dirty 30's. Then, with this information, we were to come up with a poem. What a great idea! Conveniently, my grandparents were still farming just a quarter mile down the road. I certainly didn’t mind going for a visit.

I called the resulting poem “The Diary of a 1930 Farmer”.

It is the first of spring today
And soon I’ll be planting seed;
I don’t think I see a way
‘Cause I’ll need the grain for feed.

‘Tis the first of summer and rye;
I have planted half my grain.
It’s so terribly hot and dry;
Oh God, please make it rain.

‘Tis the first of autumn today;
It’s a sad and sorry sight.
I worked my field for hay
And received dust storms to fight.

The snow has started to fall;
How will I get through the freeze?
We’ve got nothing to eat at all;
God, help us survive the squeeze.

We’ve known hunger for a year;
For a year we have known pain.
Please God, take away the fear;
I can’t go through it again.

We read in the Bible that David knew what it was like to be dry. He was chased out into the wilderness on more than one occasion. One of the gifts God gave to David was his ability to write poetry. Psalm 63 is one of the poems he wrote when he was driven out into the Judaean desert by his enemies.

Even when David was thirsting for water it reminded him of his need for God. He starts his poem by saying just that! “O God, you are my God! I long for you! My soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

In David’s mind he could do without the approval of men. He could do without food and without water. He could do without a lot of the comforts in life but he could not survive without his God! May we, like David, long for (and pursue) God’s presence in our lives. It’s the only place we’ll find true refreshment for the dryness in our souls.