You have no idea how much Arizonans covet the monsoons of summer.

You have no idea.

After May and June bakes, all the state feels like a desert. The sun is strong. It can feel like a knife on your skin.

Oh, you say it’s a dry heat? You say it’s humid where you live? Hah! Stand out in that sun for a while. Take a hike in it. Drink the same amount of water as you would in Indiana. Feel that headache torture you. Feel that sunburn. You have no idea what you are saying.

The fact is the Southwest solar radiation is more intense because of that lack of humidity. The sweat evaporates before you know you’re sweating. No envelope of moisture holds moisture within your skin. You dehydrate far quicker. Plus, 108 is 108. That is hot. And did I say that sun feels like a knife on your skin?

But Arizona needs that heat. It does. The columns of hot air rising out of the Arizona deserts in May and June create a low pressure system, and thus a pressure differential, which sucks in moisture from the higher pressure systems operating over the Pacific and the Gulf of California. This is the essence of a monsoonal weather pattern. Thus, it is not mockery to call the afternoon thunderstorms of summer “the monsoons”.

By July Arizona gets humid – though not New Orleans humid. The afternoon heating makes that moisture rise. Place that moisture on top of plateaus and mountains and, voila, thunderheads rise tens of thousands of feet above the high country. They’re awe inspiring to see form. Then, lo, it starts to sprinkle. Then, lo, mountains disappear behind walls of gray and black that bring wetness all life within this state covets. It is a beautiful thing.

And it is especially beautiful around Sedona.

See, I believe God took his time in making Arizona. First, there is Grand Canyon. The hand of God during the Creation was especially artistic here and after the Creation. But I’m digressing…

Well, God took his time in Sedona too. Greenery of pinions and junipers surprise people. The Red Rocks overwhelm people. But, the land is not too far removed from the Sonoran Desert which characterizes Southern Arizona. A scorching June reminds everyone of this.

Those who love the land crave the return of rain that brings back life to flora and fauna. They crave the return of that which makes Sedona something far more livable than the deserts southward. And when the Almighty showers his blessings we are reminded of a harmony between land and sky that is wondrous and beautiful, a harmony that reminds us of his unparalleled artistry.

Of course modern cities make us forget that we live on the land that God made. Their artificiality make us think all variables are controlled. Thus, many can no longer care about the rain like our ancestors once did. Thus, they don’t resort to prayer like our ancestors once did.

But many still do. And perhaps God withholds rain to humble us, and make us pray, and make us remember he is sovereign over all things.

And I could not help but to think of this today as one heckuva monsoon hit Sedona.

Praise God.