The Atacama Desert is a plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. According to estimates the Atacama Desert proper occupies 41,000 square miles or 49,000 square miles if the barren lower slopes of the Andes Mountains are included.

The desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes, sand and felsic lava that flows towards the Andes. Much of the desert extends up into the Andes and is very high in elevation. Unlike more familiar deserts, like the Sahara Desert in Africa and the Mojave in California, the Atacama is actually a pretty cold place. The average daily temperature ranges between 32° - 72°.

Studies conducted by NASA have concluded that this desert is in fact the driest place in the world. Evidence suggests that the Atacama Desert may not have had any significant rainfall from 1570 to 1971. And some weather stations in the Atacama have never, ever received rain.

The Atacama Desert is found along the northern coast of Chile, right next to the Pacific Ocean, the biggest body of water on earth. Geographically the arid nature of the Atacama is explained by it being situated between two mountain chains (the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range) of sufficient height to prevent moisture from either the Pacific or the Atlantic Oceans. It is a two-sided rain shadow.

The Atacama is a desert not just because the mountains make a rain shadow, but because the ocean does too. The water on the west part of Chile is quite cold, since it came from Antarctica. Moisture cannot stay in the cold air above the cold water, so mainly fog reaches the land, but very little if any rain.

I never knew there was a place in the world where it did not rain. In fact, I did not think it was possible. I assumed that everywhere on earth it rained in varying degrees. And it made me think about what else there is in this world that never happens but we think it does.

Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” Jesus will always be faithful, always be loyal, always be caring, always be merciful, always be powerful. You can always trust Jesus. He will never give up on you.

God is loving. God is able. God is in control. Nothing takes God by surprise. God can use anything for our good. And he never makes mistakes. You can count on it.


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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 New Devotional from Pastor Rick McDaniel: Vida De Alto Impacto con Rick McDaniel

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