Breakdown in food chain

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2020

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We’ve begun to hear news about a breakdown in our food chain so I looked it up.

A food chain is a “competitive hierarchy of the feeding relationships between species in a biotic community.”

It refers to the availability of food in a community. For example, production of meat is down 24 percent because several meat-packing plants have closed, meaning two things. There will be less meat available in our community and the price will go up.

It’s a complicated process from the field or pasture to the buyer to the processing plant to the wholesaler to the retailer to the consumer to the table… and it can be interrupted at any point on the food chain.

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, (though I have no toilet paper nor Lysol wipes), yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakuk 3:17–18)

We’ve been afraid of the pandemic for several months now, but our society is opening back up and now we’re beginning to deal with (and in some cases fear) the collateral damage caused by a closed-down society.

It started with toilet paper and disinfectant wipes and it was a crisis of greed.

We all saw the pictures of people pushing buggies filled with enough toilet paper to supply their neighborhood,  which meant the rest of the neighborhood would not be able to find their toilet paper.

My son Al walked in our house one day with two packages of toilet paper and said they had more, but he only bought two because he said, “Other people need it too.” I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of him.

On the other hand, I saw a picture on Facebook of a man who’d set up a stand selling four-roll packages of toilet paper for $50/package. And I’ve heard several online sites blocked people who were selling toilet paper and wipes for exorbitant prices — good for them.

There was also a story about a man who had several thousand rolls of toilet paper and was selling them until someone stopped him. Now he has enough toilet paper for the rest of his life.

Another man tried to return several thousand rolls and the store refused. I saw a toilet paper display with a sign reading, “One package $2.95, second package $295.00!”

Shortages of any kind create an atmosphere of fear and greed — unless you’ve learned to depend on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

God is not limited by our limitations and is not surprised by our shortages. In fact, he uses our fear and greed to teach us about trust.

We had several rolls of toilet paper left and I was becoming a bit anxious and asked for God’s help. A few minutes later, Al walked in the door with those two packages of toilet paper. The timing suggested to me that God had answered my prayer before I prayed it.

And the timing for our National Day of Prayer places it on the first Thursday in May as we struggle to re-open our society with fear and trepidation.

Find the group near you and join them, or simply stop at noon this Thursday and ask God to heal our nation and our world.