Blooming in the Desert: How to encourage a friend experiencing a life drought

desert bloom

My husband and I hike in the Nevada high desert most mornings. Recently, I noticed that despite our current drought, it’s been green and full of wild flowers. Our Nevada green is not like the green of the Pacific Northwest, where I had the pleasure of hiking last week and the green was so bright my eyes ached. Our green is not even like the green of California — that is in such a severe drought they might have only one year left of water, but the hills still look beautiful there. Nope, not that kind of “show off” green that comes in countless shades, but still, green…for us.

I reflected, as we walked and admired the strange variety of blooms, that “It doesn’t take much water to encourage the desert to bloom.” It was true; we’d had only two real storms this winter. Usually rain in Northern Nevada means it briefly muddies your car. But, these two times it actually rained, and the desert blossomed.

As we walked, I reflected that it was similar to being spiritually dry or when your life is in a hard, desert place. It takes very little encouragement, during those times, to make a difference.

In the times I’ve been in those places it was the small encouragements that kept me going. Encouragements I call, “Glimpses of God,” like a quick “thinking of you” text from a friend, a phone call, an unexpected card in the mail, or a rainbow.

When those we love are suffering, sometimes it is hard to know what to say, so we say nothing.  But, it takes very little encouragement when you are in a desert place, to bloom. (Tweet this)  So stop for a minute and think about your friends. Are any of them going through a particularly hard time? If so, is there something small you can do to encourage them? No grand gesture, no expensive gift, but a small drop of water on the parched surface of their lives.


Trust me, if you send a drop of water to a thirsty friend, God can multiply it to bring hope, joy, and new life. Maybe that’s why we give flowers to show love, or why we are encouraged to give a cup of cold water in His name.

Let me know if you try it. Or how others have given you water in your times of drought.


6 thoughts on “Blooming in the Desert: How to encourage a friend experiencing a life drought

  1. This is lovely! It’s so easy to be inwardly focused. Thanks for such a loving reminder to encourage others. I love the line “give a cold cup of water in His name.” 🙂


  2. This is so true. I have found many times that even a short email asking how someone is, what the outcome was for a prayer request, or just sharing a scripture verse with them has encouraged them, often in deep ways. I wondered today why more people don’t post little things to those we know are suffering… and I think you’re right. they just don’t know what to say. They are afraid of saying the wrong thing. It’s awkward. So, those of us who have the gift of encouragement, or a gift with words like you, are those splashes of color in the desert. But anyone can copy a Bible verse, or just say, “I’m thinking of you.” It does make a huge difference.
    BTW, I’m thinking of and praying for you. 🙂 — Denise B


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