- September 6, 2017
- by: Os Hillman
- January 21, 2021
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5-6).
Have you ever heard someone say, “He was before his time?” There are many examples of people who invented a product or service in a time when the market was not ready to embrace the product yet. Other things had to develop before the product could be a success.
George Washington Carver experienced this. Born around 1861 during the Civil War, he was a man who should have been a victim to his circumstances. Discriminated against constantly, he lost his mother to slave traders. As a young boy he cried out to God in the midst of his circumstances and God heard him. God gave George an indomitable persevering spirit and he was highly motivated to learn.
Carver discovered that Southern farmers who planted cotton for hundreds of years needed to plant a new crop because the soil had worn out and the farmers were going into interminable debt as a result. To restore the soil Carver advised the planting of peanuts and sweet potatoes instead of cotton. After much persuasion, planters gradually increased their peanut and sweet potato acreage, until these became the number-one crops in the South.However, there was not substantial market for the peanuts and sweet potatoes. Forced to let the product rot in the fields, the farmers ended up losing more money than before.
This situation placed a great deal of pressure on Carver. He took the problem to God in prayer and said, “Mr. Creator, why did You make the peanut?” Many years later, he shared that God led him back to his lab and worked with him to discover some 300 marketable products from the peanut including lard, mayonnaise, cheese, shampoo, instant coffee, flour, sop, face powder, plastics, adhesives, axle grease, and pickles.
Likewise, from the sweet potato he made more than 100 discoveries, among them starch, library paste, vinegar, shoe blacking, ink, and molasses. Because of these new products, the demand for peanuts and sweet potatoes grew and literally transformed the Southern economy.*
Has God made you an inventor? Ask him to help you bring your product to market.
*Adapted from More Than Conquerors, John Woodridge, General Editor, Moody Press, 820 N LaSalle St Chicago, IL 60610-3284 p. 311, 1992.