I have friends who are definitely “desert rats.” Like the Joshua Tree, they seem to thrive in the dry desert heat. I do not mind the desert if there is a lake available. When our children were young we went to Lake Havasu in Arizona with another family for nine summers in a row. The only comfortable place was half in the water in a beach chair, with an umbrella and a cold soda in hand! One could maybe get used to the heat but the dryness of the air was something else. My skin always felt dry and flaky.
David wrote this psalm while in the wilderness of Judah. He likened his longing for God to his need for water in an arid land. His thirst for a relationship with his Creator was all consuming. No wonder he was a “man after God’s own heart!” (I Samuel 13:14)
David recognized the thirst and longing of his soul. He knew it could only be quenched by the One who created his soul. Sometimes I do not even recognize my deepest longings for what they are. I feel some dissatisfaction or some restlessness and do not attribute it to the correct source. I look to other solutions or distractions. They may even work for awhile. But there remains something missing.
My soul was created for Him. He is the only One who can fill those empty places within me. When I ignore Him, I am in a spiritual desert experiencing dryness and thirst. Lord, keep me close to You and away from that dry barren desert!