Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When the Road Disappears

We were facing that long road once again. We knew every bend, every straight stretch and every dangerous descent. The Alaska Highway, all 2400 kilometres (approx.1500 miles) of it, was no stranger. We sipped coffee in a diner and chatted with a local man.
“Why don’t you try that new road?” he suggested. “They say it’s straighter so it’s gotta be shorter.”

Spence’s ears perked up. “New road?”

“Yeah, it heads north near Hazelton. Can’t miss it.”

We checked the map. There was no sign of a road heading north from New Hazelton, but the local “expert” assured us the map was too old and the road too new.

“It’s there all right. Been on it myself.”

Anxious to avoid the other route, we decided to take the risk and headed for the rugged countryside of northern British Columbia. We found the highway, and it did indeed look good. In fact, for the first fifty kilometers, the fresh pavement and beautiful scenery made us bless the man in the diner. Then the pavement ended. We had expected that. After all, it was a new road. The gravel was well graded for about the next twenty kilometers. Then the highway narrowed and it was obvious the grader had quit. Then the road looked more like a driveway than a highway. Then it happened. We rounded a bend and the road disappeared.

Huge machinery attempted to level piles of rubble before us. A flagman appeared, radio in hand as he stared at us, shook his head and turned back to the earthmovers. Spence pressed the accelerator and eased the truck forward. The flagman rushed over.

"Where do you think you’re going?” he shouted.
“Whitehorse,” Spence shouted back.

“There’s thirty klicks of rubble between here and the next section,” the flagman warned, shifted his hard hat and added, “But there’s no blasting today.”

Spence patted the dash of our old ’66 GMC. “She’ll get us through.”

The man waved his flag with a flourish and we headed off. It took us several hours to negotiate those thirty kilometers, but eventually we found the other end of the road and celebrated our victory with relief. We’d made it! Our old truck had proven itself again.

Sometimes tragedy strikes and the road ahead seems filled with nothing but rubble. Despair lies just around the next bend. Yet there is hope and a promise. James 1:12 says – “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James uses a well known example – “You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (Jas.5:11)

Facing a road full of obstacles gives us an opportunity to trust God. Keep moving forward and He’ll get you through. He’s much more trustworthy than an old ‘66 GMC.

See more of Marcia's writing at www.vinemarc.com


  1. I've a yen to drive to the Arctic Circle, but I'm nervous about the isolation and the possibility of vehicle breakdown. Maybe i'll look for a '66 GMC to make the trek :)

  2. What an adventure! I would love to make that trip someday.

  3. Marcia, great post! I'm glad your truck came through for you :-)

  4. Well written, Marcia. I kind of went through similar emotions when I faced the pile of rubble in the form of Marion's accident (see "Oranges and Lemons". I couldn't go back, but oh boy, I didn't fancy going forward!

    But you're right.I kept pressing forward - I didn't have an option. And the Lord did see me through.