It's snowing again. Did you know it can snow in the desert? The princess moved from the lush old realm that was covered in green grass with practically permanent grey skies to the yellow land that is always bathed in blue skies and sunshine with only an occasional cloud. But the desert she moved to was high desert, and she was led into the valley, hemmed in on both sides by the highest mountains she has ever seen. And almost four years later, she was led north. Still hemmed in by the mountains but they are not quite so overwhelmingly high. And still desert, but it seems that the drought is coming to an end.
Is that a sign? The end of the drought? The princess sees it that way. You do know that rain means blessings right? Something she always took for granted in the old realm. You don't think about how precious a raindrop is when they are given with such generosity. Your daily bread, your daily rain - so easy to take for granted. Try living in drought! It took such getting used to, the princess used to get this restless feeling in the first year, when it wouldn't rain. She would long for it, and then when it came it felt like such a relief. All that waiting for something that used to be such a frequent occurrence.
In drought you become dependent. You depend on the sprinklers to keep the grass and plants alive. You depend on the stored water, and as you watch the reservoirs and lakes dry up, there is a realisation that as humans we are not self-sufficient. We prayed for rain and snow and then watched other regions receive and still we were in drought. But this year, it seems that our prayers are answered. And this year, the princess is praying one word: pasture.
She has attempted to live self-sufficiently for too long. She has learned in her desert life, that she does not have the resources on her own to live fruitfully. She is learning to pray her way into her future and depend on God for the answer, for His blessings to fall on her like the rain. More than anything, she wants to follow her shepherd to the pasture where she can graze in safety. This year, there are new things to learn, new experiences that could threaten to overwhelm. Yet, if she stays near the shepherd, she knows he will not let her go wrong. She wants to know his voice, she wants to be in the right place at the right time. She wants to remain in the pasture and not go astray.