A friend once told me that she thought perhaps women have trouble sleeping during their 40s because they need to be praying for their teenage children. Perhaps that is true. I know that lying awake in bed can go two ways for me. Sometimes I succumb to worry. Sometimes I believe God uses the quiet of the morning to give me solutions to those worries.
On a recent morning, I lay awake thinking about the supply chain issues affecting Notgrass History. In the 1970s, Ray and I lived through a gasoline crisis in America. An oil embargo caused gasoline to be in short supply and lines at filling stations were long.
I know from history that Americans experienced many shortages during World War II.
However, for us Baby Boomers born in the 1950s, this is the first time we have lived in an America with so many shortages. The shortage affecting our company most is a severe paper shortage. The printing company that prints our books (and the books of many other companies) is the third largest purchaser of printing paper in the U.S., but they are having a very hard time getting it.
As I lay thinking about the paper shortage the other morning and wondering what other shortages may come next, three words came to me: “If My people . . . .” When King Solomon finished building the great temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, the Lord appeared to Solomon at night. The Lord told him:
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain,
or if I command the locust to devour the land,
or if I send a plague among My people,
and My people who are called by My name
humble themselves, and pray and seek My face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:13b-14
I am in no way blaming God for the myriad issues Americans face today, including supply chains. However, I am convicted we all should be humbling ourselves, praying, seeking God’s face, and turning from our wicked ways. That I know for certain. I trust God to hear from heaven and to answer in the way He knows is best because, as the apostle Paul told the people of Athens, Greece: “He is not far from each one of us.”
The God who made the world and everything that is in it,
since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made by hands
nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything,
since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
and He made from one man every nation of mankind
to live on all the face of the earth,
having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
that they would seek God,
if perhaps they might feel around for Him and find Him,
though He is not far from each one of us;
for in Him we live and move and exist
as even some of your own poets have said,
“For we also are His descendants.”