The Gravelpit

We had a tendency to be…impulsive. Early in our marriage we lived in Phoenix, where the oppressive heat in mid-summer made us want to leave town every time we had a free day or two. David worked long hours as an equipment technician, and so we often found ourselves leaving town late in the evening. On this weekend, he had gotten home later than usual, but it didn’t stop us from throwing the camping gear into the van and heading north to the “cool country.” We knew the country fairly well, having camped in the area often, but when we arrived all the camp spots in our usual haunts were already occupied. So we drove down a back road (one we had taken before) looking for a suitable place to pitch our tent. It was late. We were tired, and hungry…and the road suddenly didn’t look so familiar. We realized we were headed in the wrong direction, and so made the decision to turn around.

At the bottom of a hill, there was a large flat area where David turned in, planning to turn back. He drove onto the flat ground, and we…..sank. The nice flat ground was a gravel “lake” with pea gravel a foot deep. The heavily loaded van could get no traction, and the harder he tried to get us out, the deeper the van sank into the pit. We piled out of the van…in shorts and sandals, and tried to dig the tires out with a shovel, with sticks of wood and even with our hands. For two hours we dug, pushed and pulled the fine gravel out of the way. But the van would not budge, and we silently prayed for a way out of this mess.

Then, down the road…this remote, backwoods road… two o’clock in the morning…..came a car. The car stopped in front of us and the driver called out “Need some help?” Frustrated and tired, David replied with sharp sarcasm: “ No, we’re just having fun digging in the sand here!” To such a reply, I would have replied “OK” and driven off. To such a reply, David would have done the same thing. The young men did not drive off. They piled out of the car, dug the wheels out of the gravel and pushed us back onto the road. They refused offers of money or refreshments from our cooler. They waved and drove off down the road.

Job 33: 26-28: “He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state. Then he comes to men and says, ‘I sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.’”

Despite our less than hospitable welcome, our “angels” redeemed us from the pit. We did not get what we deserved. Praise God!