It is hot in the Arabian Desert: 120F (usually) to 140F (often). The midday sun bears down you relentlessly. You cannot escape it. There is little shade and clouds are a memory from another season.
“It’s a dry heat,” they say, but it’s still hot. The wind is hot, too, like the max setting on a giant hair dryer. It blows around dust as fine as talc. You breathe it; it clings to your damp skin, it forms a layer on all horizontal surfaces. You can’t escape the dust either.
When the wind kicks up, it envelops you in a cloud as thick as early morning fog. Now it chokes you and blinds you and peppers you with coarser bits of sand that stings any exposed flesh.
When there is no wind, the humidity rises. We are drenched in sweat under our body armor, laboring under the added weight of our weapons and ammunition.
How we long for rain. It will cool the land and cleanse the air. It will replenish the grass. The herdsmen will bring back the camels, goats and sheep. The desert will come to life.
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.” (Isaiah 35:1 NIV)
As I renew myself daily in Jesus, he refreshes the dryness of my soul. He softens the hardness of my heart. He takes the barrenness of my existence and gives it purpose.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19 NIV)