August 11 - Day 58

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. -Habakkuk 3:17-19

It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. -Psalm 18: 32-34
Dean and I enjoyed observing and taking pictures of the wildlife in Alaska. He was the first to spot the Dall Sheep as we looked through our camera lenses. The mountains were still covered with snow which made it difficult to spot these white sheep in the far distance. As summer approaches, they move to higher grounds where predators are hardpressed to follow. We were amazed at how these sheep climbed skillfully around the rocky, steep terrain. God made their hoofed toes flexible so they're able to adjust to the uneven surfaces in their mountain habitats where sure footing is essential. God provides food such as grasses and minerals, complex stomach made up of four chambers, and well-developed senses to detect predators. God created the Dall Sheep to prosper in their habitat. As we put our trust in God he will not let our feet slip but will set us upon high places. 
 God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip. -2 Samuel 22:33-37
Dean did well through the night! Early in morning he received another x-ray of his lungs to check for consolidation. I had flashbacks from Kazakhstan as the water dribbled out of the shower this morning. I could only chuckle and thank the Lord that the drops were hot and continuous. I shaved his face today with his electric razor and played some of his favorite music. We are thankful that his swelling seems to be reducing. There have been no other significant changes in his overall condition. I've noticed lately that his heart rate seems to be lower at night than during the day. Praise and prayer go hand in hand! Let's keep praising God and pray for Dean's complete healing!  
Last night I heard a robin singing in the rain,
And the raindrop's patter made a sweet refrain,
Making all the sweeter the music of the strain.
So, I thought, when trouble comes, as trouble will,
Why should I stop singing? Just beyond the hill
It may be that sunshine floods the green world still.
He who faces the trouble with a heart of cheer
Makes the burden lighter. If there falls a tear,
Sweeter is the cadence in the song we hear.
I have learned your lesson, bird with spotted wing,
Listening to your music with its tune of spring -
When the storm cloud darkens, it's the TIME to sing.
                                                    - Eben Eugene Rexford
This poem reminds me of perseverance! Dean and I enjoyed our time driving through the state of Alaska, even though there were few roads to travel. We journeyed north to Denali State Park and were permitted to drive our car about 30 miles into the park. It was about 6:30 pm when we entered the park and Dean said we would drive for an hour and half one-way before turning around so we could get some dinner before diners closed. (Dusk began around 11:30 pm.) We drove for several miles stopping along the way to take pictures and look for wildlife. Shortly the smooth pavement vanished and the path became rough and dusty. It had many twists and abrupt turns as it meandered around the mountains and across streams. Time quickly passed by and we had not reached the end of our journey. Dean really wanted to reach the end but I could see him torn between hunger, time, and desire. He was about to turn around in order to keep his word concerning "time" but I encouraged his deeper "desire" to reach his goal. (We didn't travel that far from home to just give up.) So he gladly continued to drive not knowing how far we were from the end. Within a few minutes he found satisfaction as we arrived to the gates that represented the end which prevented us from further travel. We rejoiced in pressing onward and not turning around before obtaining the prize. We were rewarded with a beautiful view of the valley!  (The Lord didn't leave us hungry; He provided a local diner that was still open where we received a hot meal.)

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