And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 NIV
Over 80 years ago private landowners in Swain County, North Carolina, were forced to give up their property, which had been in their families for generations, when the government created the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Entire communities had to relocate. Access to ancestral burial grounds was lost when the Fontana Dam was built and the route was submerged beneath the waters of a vast manmade lake.
To appease the people, the government promised to build a road through the park that would give them access to the ancient cemeteries. And so construction on Lakeview Drive began—and halted six miles into the park when environmental issues arose. The promised road ended with a tunnel and has remained that way to this day.
Although eventually the environmental issues were resolved and the feds paid the county $52 million in lieu of finishing the road, the locals, feeling betrayed, renamed Lakeview Drive to “The Road to Nowhere.” A sign was erected: “Welcome to The Road to Nowhere. A Broken Promise. 1943 – ?”
DH and I visited The Road to Nowhere during a camping trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Parka few years ago, and we walked through the dank, dark tunnel. True, the paved road ended when we emerged on the other side, but I wouldn’t call it “nowhere.” Golden trees framed hiking trails winding through the mountains. True, this wasn’t what was promised, but it is what it is.
Life can be like that. Sometimes the road we’re on doesn’t lead us to where we expect or where we want to go. Sometimes we run into a dead end. Broken promises break our hearts and our trust. We can’t see how we can go on.
But it doesn’t lead to nowhere. All roads lead to somewhere. Just sometimes not where we’d chosen.
The older I get, the more I understand the wisdom of accepting and adapting. And moving on.
I’m not saying it’s easy—giving up those dreams, rebuilding your life after hope has been shattered.
But it can be done—with guts, gumption, grit—and God.
You see, I believe in a God who can transform what’s bad in your life into something good, what’s broken into something usable. A God who can turn your weakness into His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9) and loves you far beyond what you can comprehend (Romans 8:35–39).
He’s always in your corner (Romans 8:31) and wants to bless you exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He’s a faithful Father who showers you with fresh mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:23) and who doesn’t break promises (2 Timothy 2:13).
So, dear child of God, “do not fear. Do not let not your hands grow weak. The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives great victory. He will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on the day of a festival” (Zephaniah 3:16–17)
Remember that it’s God who’s in control, no matter what road you find yourself on.
Remind me, Lord, as I walk this uncertain road called life, that every road I walk with You will lead to somewhere wonderful. Amen.
From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.
2 thoughts on “The Road to Nowhere”
I have plans, dreams and goals for this year, but I asked the Lord to help me have the strength to make way for what He might want to do in my life. So often in the past, I’ve planned things and outcomes–and when they didn’t work out–come crashing down into a heap of disappointment and feeling like a failure. But I don’t want to feel like that in 2021, and I believe God is giving me help. He is helping me look at it from different points–one being that I’m not in control of outcomes. For instance, when I submit an article, I can do the best I can–after that, the outcome isn’t up to me. I’m thankful that I can grow.