In August 2016, my brother and I planned a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the remote Brooks Range in Alaska to hunt caribou. This would be a high-exertion hunt with long hikes through rough terrain. While conditioning for the trip, I found my legs increasingly fatigued. After multiple medical appointments, I met with an orthopedic surgeon who recommended immediate dual-hip replacement surgery. When I explained my decision to postpone the surgery until after the hunt, he advised me to “bring plenty of aspirin” for the pain.
Within a few months, we flew into Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, where we took an additional 130-mile bush plane to arrive at our camp. The first day we had a wonderful, but physically exhausting day hiking the tundra terrain. The following afternoon our guide spotted several bull caribou about 3 miles from camp, and the hiking began. After 3 miles of treacherous terrain, we arrived on-site, only to find no apparent angle to the bulls. As we started back, severe leg pain set in, and I could hardly walk. I started crying out to the Lord for strength in my legs as I took each painful step. Finally, I could see the tents, but they were still a mile away. The Lord in His grace walked me the final mile, but I knew I couldn't hunt anymore. Exhausted and defeated, I climbed into my sleeping bag, and it started to rain. Rain turned to hail as the night progressed and then to 4 inches of snow. The next morning, our guide informed us that hiking through the snow-covered terrain is too hazardous for our ankles…a huge relief. After 48 hours of prayerful solitude and rest, the snow melted, and I see a beautiful rainbow. I told my brother, “tomorrow’s the day.” My legs had recovered, supernaturally strengthened in a way that could only be the Lord.
The next afternoon, we took a 3-mile hike and ambush a group of caribou. I made a good shot, and we walked to the caribou in the valley below us. I prayed over the bull and thanked the Lord for his provision. I looked up to see three rainbows in the distance and was overwhelmed by what God did for me. He got me back to camp on that 3-mile hike, sent snow in August so my legs could rest, supernaturally strengthened my hips and legs for the hunt while providing a caribou of a lifetime. Our God is a God of HOPE for each day here on earth and into eternity.