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Supply Chain Thanks

I looked at the rice shelf in the grocery store. Some empty spots. Same in several other aisles, although not as bad as at the beginning of the pandemic when people bought up all the food and supplies they could.

I walked to the produce aisle to select my bananas. If I don’t eat at least half a banana a day, in addition to taking Potassium supplements, I get severe foot cramps at night. So these are high on my “must have in stock at all times” list. I like them just a bit green, firm, when to me they are most flavorful. Not for me the soft yellow bananas that are best used to make banana bread!

copy space photo of yellow bananas
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on

We still had three bananas at home, so I was hoping to find greenish ones. Nope, all yellow. I muttered, “I wanted greener ones.” And then I stopped, ashamed. There were lots of bananas to choose from. They just weren’t exactly what I wanted.

I am spoiled, as are many in America. I’m used to being able to get what I want, pretty much when I want it. How many in this world, even in this country, have the opportunity to do that? What right did I have to complain?

People in Haiti are suffering devastating loss of home, family, goods, and the means to live following a 7.2 earthquake that rocked its southern peninsula on August 14, toppling buildings and killing an estimated 2,200 persons. Approximately 12,000 more were injured and others missing. Think of the agony and hopelessness those families must feel.

Mud, water and debris after Honduran hurricanes
Christmas in makeshift street homes

And in Honduras, two major hurricanes within three weeks last November destroyed infrastructure, left mud, water and debris in the streets, and left many homeless. Yet there was hope as some built makeshift structures along the road, along with Christmas ornaments! My brother and sister-in-law have developed relationships with several Honduran families over the years and established a relief fund through their church, giving significant help to several groups in their rebuilding and clean water efforts.

As of Saturday there were about 170 cargo ships waiting to dock at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. These ports account for roughly 40% of U.S. imports. With the labor shortage and some people not returning to work, there is a huge surplus waiting for workers all along the supply chain. How many food products will be rotten before the ships can be unloaded, loaded onto trucks with enough drivers to deliver the supplies to their destinations, and employees to put those items on the shelf–from foods to mattresses to garage doors.

So I will be grateful for those yellow bananas that will begin to spot before we eat them. I will be thankful for what we have, and for the privilege of helping others in great need.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Prayer: Father, help me to have an attitude of thanksgiving for your grace, peace, forgiveness, and salvation. I pray workers will return to offload those cargo ships, and ease the supply chain here in our own country. Help me not to focus on my small needs but to look at the needs of others, to reach out and help where I can, both within and outside our own country. Be with the many who are suffering because of loss of life, home, security, provisions. You don’t tell me to thank you for everything, but in everything, because you are good, and you care for us.


  1. Shirley J. Buxton says:

    Carol, such a thoughtful and timely post. Your words–the entire lesson–caught at my heart. We Americans have so much, so very, very much. God help me to always remember, and to be grateful. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. carolnl says:

      Shirley, thank you for your kind response. I too need God’s reminder to be thankful in all circumstances. It’s easy to lose sight of that and to complain about little things, but in light of the world’s needs and of eternity, they ARE little things. Love you!

  2. Karen O'Connor says:

    Thank you, Carol. I use bananas for morning smoothies. Your post has reminded me to give thanks each day for every ingredient I put into this drink, especially when I think about how precious they are and all the people in the world who are starving.

    1. carolnl says:

      Thank you Karen. I love bananas in smoothies and you’re reminding me to use some for that again! Let’s remind each other to be thankful in all things!

  3. Laura Bennet says:

    Wonderful post! So many people all around the world are suffering in devastating ways. Every time I buy bananas (and put them in my smoothies) I’ll remember this post. We have so much to be grateful for! Eternal perspective makes such a difference.

    1. carolnl says:

      Thank you Laura. Yes, so much suffering. I too will try to remember my own lesson – I have to buy bananas today! (smile) I agree, eternal perspective makes ALL the difference.

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