My husband and I just returned from an awe-inspiring trip to Alaska, compliments of some very loving people. May I share with you in picture and in words some of the lessons from Alaska God showed me–about his character and ours?

Most lessons I “re-learned” rather than learned. God is faithful to remind us of his character, often in unexpected ways. I hope these reflections will encourage you today and remind you, too, of God’s “bigness.”

1. The footprints of God’s faithfulness are everywhere

From beginning to end of any journey to any destination, you can track his creation, his character, and his creativity. I found this particularly true in Alaska.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard” (Psalms 19:1-2 NIV).

2. Words can’t describe the majesty of God

Beautiful? Awesome? Magnificent? Wonderful? How about Breathtaking?

“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalms 8:1, NIV).

3. "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16, NIV)

God still cares about the details of our lives. And yes, God is still Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals.

The night before we left, I tripped over the garden edging while watering. Pain shot through my right foot in the exact place where I had fallen eight years before while on a mission trip in Peru. An x-ray had shown a possible hairline fracture back then, but no follow-up was recommended. My husband prayed for me there in a small Peruvian ER, and I had no more problems with that foot the rest of the mission trip. 

Back to the present. The pain from the fall left, and I didn’t think too much more about it until we had finished packing our bags and gone to bed. About 1:00 a.m., I awoke from incessant tossing and turning. And then I realized why. My foot was throbbing. When I finally got up and tried to walk on it, I had to hobble to the living room. I applied ice to my foot, then settled down on the couch. The ice helped briefly, but an hour later I tried to get up again, still unable to sleep. This time I couldn’t stand at all. The pain was excruciating.

My initial thought? "It’s broken!" I prayed on and off for several hours, asking for God’s healing. I fought conflicting visions of having to cancel the trip entirely, or being wheeled around to every port on the cruise and throughout the ship. Forget hiking even on a short walk or trying to do our river float trip.

Daylight finally dawned with no sleep and no improvement, my foot still throbbing. I knew it was time to get to the ER for an x-ray. My husband couldn’t hear my “help” cries, so I managed to drag myself back to the bedroom, where he was just getting up. Just like in Peru, he prayed the desire of our hearts, asking fervently for God’s intervention, then leaving the outcome to God. We iced my foot again.

A few minutes later, I tried to stand up briefly to get something just beyond my reach. No pain. Carefully, slowly, I began to take a few steps. Nothing. No pain. No soreness. And no explanation – except God chose to heal it and answer our simple cry.

And while I “re-learned” this lesson about the God-Who-Heals while still in Texas, not Alaska, I had no soreness or foot problems the rest of the trip. We probably walked an average of 3-5 miles a day. Praise the Lord!