Milton Snavely Hershey is the man behind Hershey, Pennsylvania and the industry that would pursue and change chocolate candy for decades to come. His rags to riches story surpasses defeating odds and even an early death. Hershey was born in 1857 to an unstable family due to countless moves as a result from his father’s excessive business failures. He dropped out of school after fourth grade and went on to face many of his own failures including a printing apprenticeship, his first business that led to bankruptcy, a small candy business in New York City that collapsed, and years of being without work. Finally, Milton opened a carmel business that allowed him to pay back all his loans. From there he sold the factory and then traveled before buying the plot that would one day be the Hershey Corporation. Less than 10 years after that, Milton Hershey was preparing to travel on the RMS Titanic. Fortunately for him and his family, work needed him, and he sailed an earlier ship – the Amerika.

What would have happened if Milton Hershey had been on that ship? Would it have changed the Hershey factory forever? Would Hershey chocolate bars, Whoppers, Kit-Kat’s, Rolos, Milk Duds, Reese’s, Mounds, and even Hershey’s Kisses be around today? If not, where would we be without these delicious indulgences? Would some other company have risen to the top?

There are so many stories like Milton’s that had the potential to alter history, yet, here we are in 2017 with the history we have and the Hershey chocolate bar. I’d have to bet that when Milton Hershey knew he’d miss his trip on the famous Titanic, he was bummed; but I am sure he was grateful he was not on board after hearing it sank. Milton was raised Methodist, and while we don’t know the extent of his faith, we do know that God had a plan for him beyond April 1912. God has a plan for each and every one of us as well. We may not like it, we may not agree with it, but we must trust God and know that His ways are greater than ours.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Whatever it is that you are going through, know that God can use it. That doesn’t always make it pleasant in the moment, but it will all work out for your future, and for God’s glory. We may never know why our mom’s Alzheimer’s has caused her to forget us. We might not understand why our parents got a divorce. We may not like that our boyfriend dumped us. We may not comprehend the pain and suffering that we go through, but we do know, and can trust, that God has it all under control, and that he has a good and perfect plan for our lives.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

As Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 says:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: A time to be born and a time to die… a time to week and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up… a time to be silent and a time to speak… a time for war and a time for peace… God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” 

God’s great and perfect purpose will prevail! And who knows, it might just keep us off the Titanic.


Written By: Lindsey Duerr, DCE