Good afternoon brothers and sisters. I hope your week has been filled with blessings. If you are available, join us for prayer service tonight at 8:00 p.m. Dial 1-605-562-8401. Access code is 670-7270.
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Just the other day, I heard a news reporter mention the word rationing as it relates to the consumption of gasoline. The fuel shortage, extreme cost or high demand for gas has caused some countries to start rationing their fuel. I am sure many of us can remember the odd-even gas days back in the 1970’s. The last number on your license plate would determine when you could visit the gas pumps. Are we again heading in that direction?
Rationing is the controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, services, or an artificial restriction of demand. We are already feeling the problem with supply and demand.
Let’s not be surprised if we find ourselves in America rationing some food supplies, gasoline, health care, etc. We must not forget that an enormous amount of our food supply is imported from other countries. The war in Ukraine has placed a strain on the shipping of certain commodities. May we be reminded that the United States does not raise enough food products to feed the entire nation. I believe the shortage of baby formula was just a sign of what could possibly come. Not only could shelves be empty of baby formula, but some very basic items as well in the future, if we do not plan properly now.
If we have been in church for a day or know anything about religion, then we have heard the story of Joseph. If not, read Genesis 41-47. The story reveals that Joseph had predicted a drought or famine in the land. When resources were plentiful, he avoided the disaster by stock piling some of the abundant resources. During the seven lean years that followed, Joseph dispensed grain to the Egyptians and others who were affected by the famine. After completing the entire Joseph strategy story, you get the feeling that some rationing was taking place.
History reveals how difficult life was for Americans during World War II, and if we are not careful, we may have to resort to some of the same practices today. There was a ceiling on prices of most goods to prevent wartime price gouging and to limit consumption of goods by rationing. Think about how prices have just skyrocketed during the pandemic for the last two years. Some say our present predicament is caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine, and some say it is based on greed, and others say it is due to the pandemic. Could it also be that businesses lost big time over the last two years due to the pandemic, and now they are trying to make up for their losses. Whatever the case may be, rationing may become a life saver for many.
According to an article I read in the AARP magazine, during World War II, everyone including children were issued a ration book with a certain number of points per week. Supplies such as gasoline, butter, canned milk, sugar, tires, meat, coffee, canned goods and shoes came under rationing regulations so they could be used for the war effort. Some people only received three gallons of gas per week. Can’t you see us reaching a point of being allotted a certain number of gas per week if there is a shortage or if gas prices continue to rise. The gas prices and food prices will eventually place a heavy burden on some families, if not already. During World War II, you were only allotted a half pound of sugar per week. It boils down to sacrificing, so that the haves and the have nots will survive.
Think about it. At least there was an effort to put a program in place designed to distribute scarce goods evenly and fairly.
We must be reminded that there is a war going on and we are feeling the effects of it; therefore, we will be required to sacrifice in many ways. Our sacrifices will be a way of contributing to the war effort. During the Great Depression, sacrificing certain items became the norm for most Americans. Every household in America was affected in some way.
It was revealed in one article that people during the 1940’s were encouraged to eat their leftovers and not waste their food. Just imagine the amount of food our local stores throw away daily. Prayerfully, we will not reach a point of being punished for our wastefulness.
What we, as believers, must remember is that “God is our portion,” meaning that God is the source of all of our blessings. The psalmist in Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” We know that this means that if God is our portion, we have all that we need.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor