Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”
During the 18 years I did locum tenens at cancer centers throughout the United States, my wife, Mary Lou, and I lived full time in our motor home. Thirteen times we drove the Alaska Highway, towing a car to my Anchorage assignments. We fell in love with the state and the trip, enjoying God’s creative greatness in the mountains, wildlife, and glaciers.
To understand why we especially appreciate the Scripture, “Before they call, I will answer,” you have to know something about towing a vehicle on the Alaska Highway in the Yukon. First, the Yukon is huge, the size of the 11 northeastern states and extremely sparsely populated. It has only 35,000 residents, of which 20,000 live in one city, White Horse. To compare the area, it is like Pennsylvania with a population of 8,600 instead of nearly 13 million.
Obviously, few places exist where things can be bought or repaired, such as tow bar for towing a car. As background information, a tow bar locks into place when you begin driving. But if the lock fails, the car’s movement is uncontrollable. Also, tow bars have specific base plates on the towed vehicle and are not interchangeable.
Travelling back to Tennessee on Labor Day 2008, after an Alaskan assignment, as we turned off the Alaska Highway toward White Horse I noticed the car moving from side to side behind the motor home. This swerving indicated that one of the tow bars locks had broken. I drove slowly down a steep hill and into the parking lot of the Canadian Tire store. I hoped to get a new tow bar there, but they had done.
Because of the holiday, we discovered no RV dealership was open. What should we do? Towing the car was not safe. If we could not repair or replace the tow bar, my wife and I would each have to drive a vehicle, separately, for more than four thousand miles. We prayed that God would guide our decisions and meet our needs.
Then we remembered that the Pioneer RV Park, where we had stayed previously, did limited RV repair work. Maybe they could help us. The mechanic said he had no parts to repair a tow bar and had no new ones, but he did have a used tow bar someone had left two years before. One of the telescoping arms was tight, but it still worked.
The owner had paid $900 for a new one and left the old one to sell for $300. It was the exact brand and model that we needed-a Blue Ox Aladdin! Two years before our tow bar had failed, God had placed that used one right where we would be when ours broke.
We have had many prayers answered while travelling across the country and in the wilderness. We know from experience that Isaiah 65:24 is true: “I will answer.” Do you trust God enough to claim this promise for yourself? – Ronald Turk, LLUSM class of 1963, retired hematologist-oncologist.