For twelve years, I lived in the deserts of southern Arizona. And every summer I would hear news reports of hikers who had to be rescued from various mountain trails due to severe dehydration, heat stroke, and sometimes even death. They would show pictures of emergency personnel carrying a man or woman on a stretcher. Helicopters would hover ready to airlift him or her to the nearest hospital.

The heat and dryness of the desert air tricked these people. They didn’t know how thirsty they were until it was too late, and they were in desperate need of serious medical attention.

I wonder if the same can be said for our spiritual lives at times. How often do we get so busy and distracted with the daily ‘hikes’ of life that we don’t realize how spiritually thirsty we truly are? How often do we ignore the warning signs? Do we think one more day won’t make a difference?

Psalm 42:1-2 says, “As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (NIV)

The answer to the psalmist’s question is, of course, now.

Right now.

Anytime. Anywhere.

We don’t need to wait for circumstances to be right to come. We definitely shouldn’t wait until the point of utter desperation and soul sickness. God longs to “come near” to all who choose to come near to Him (James 4:8).

So, gulp down a little encouragement from God’s Word today. Take time to sip on the truth that Jesus loves you. Listen to a worship song. Soak in His presence. His grace, after all, is the only thing that is truly sufficient. His strength will be our strength, even when we’re desert-dry, weary and weak (2 Corinthians 12:9).

*Originally published by The Joyful Life Magazine.