In a bygone era, cotton was king in the Deep South of the United States. A typical example of the region’s agricultural economy was the district surrounding the town of Enterprise in the state of Alabama. All the farmers in this locality pinned their hopes and entire livelihoods on cotton; they invested their savings and set aside most of their farms to the production of this crop.
But they had reckoned without a pest called the boll weevil. Over a number of years, this insect wreaked havoc and virtually devastated the cotton crop. Local farmers were facing economic ruin.
But farmers are resilient and resourceful people, and these Alabama farmers displayed such qualities in their reaction to this crisis. They decided to diversify their crops with an emphasis on the planting of peanuts. And what happened? They earned more money through mixed farming and peanut production than they ever did through growing cotton. That region of Alabama became prosperous. What had looked to be a disaster became the forerunner of prosperity. The coming of the boll weevil proved to be a blessing in disguise.
A decade later, the farmers in that area decided to erect a monument in honour of the boll weevil, and if you ever visit the town of Enterprise in Alabama you will find this unusual monument to a pest. Its inscription contains the following words: “In profound appreciation to the boll weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity.”
Has your life been attacked by a ‘boll weevil’ recently? Have you been jolted out of a comfortable and happy routine? Has a loved one died, or has a friend moved away, or is your social circle changing? Have you experienced financial setbacks or a loss of health or position? Perhaps you are wondering where God is in your current situation.
In such circumstances we need to remember that where God leads, He prepares and provides. Perhaps in your current situation you are learning lessons and gaining experiences that will equip you for future challenges. Whatever difficulty you are enduring may be your ‘boll weevil’, the doorway to a deeper experience of God and a closer walk with Jesus.
May the promise of Isaiah 40:31 be true for you: “But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.”
Pastor David McKibben
Galston Seventh-day Adventist Church