Breakthroughs and Innovations

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Percy Spencer faced significant disadvantages. Born in Howland, Maine, in 1894, he was orphaned when only 18 months olds and raised by his aunt and uncle (who died when Spencer was just seven).

Dropping out of grammar school, he began working at a local mill when just 12 years old. At 16 he went to work at a paper mill, intrigued because they were “electrifying.” Curious, he learned everything he could about this energy source. He then was hired to help install electricity at the mill, even though he never received formal training.

Joining the U.S. Navy when he was 18, Spencer became an expert on radio technology, studying textbooks at night. Later, largely due to his expertise, Spencer helped his company win a government contract to develop and produce combat radar equipment during World War II.

Author Rick Beyer describes how, in 1945, Spencer was conducting tests on a “magnetron,” the powerful tube at the heart of every radar set. When he reached into his pocket for a chocolate bar, Spencer found instead a “gooey mess.” Curious, he put a bag of corn kernels in front of the magnetron, and the result was the first “microwave popcorn.” Spencer patented the new method of cooking, inventing the first microwave oven.

At first, the oven seemed to have limited potential. Units were heavy and expensive. He was told that this microwave contraption would never sell. But over a period of 20 years, people began to realize the revolutionary advancement that Spencer’s breakthrough discovery had made possible. In ways he never imagined, he had created a revolutionary new way to cook.

Spencer had discovered principles that also apply to our spiritual lives. The Bible encourages us not to despise the day of “small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10 NLT). Instead, we must realize that God can do things that initially might seem impossible.

Pray that God would open your eyes to new possibilities. He can use things that seem insignificant to do amazing things and impact the world.