In Alabama USA, in the early plantation days, nearly everyone grew cotton. In 1915 the state was invaded by a pest. The Boll Weevil, which punctured the boll of the cotton plant, making it impossible for the crops to mature, found its way there from Mexico. In Coffee County, almost 60 percent of the cotton production was destroyed and soon whole crops were destroyed. Farmers in Enterprise, Alabama faced bankruptcy. The area economy was at stake.
An alternative source of income had to be found and many farmers turned to peanuts. By 1917, Coffee County produced and harvested more peanuts than any other county in the nation and the town of Enterprise became a thriving community and the peanut centre of the world. The farmers’ profits far, far exceeded what they had earned from cotton.
Today, the Boll Weevil Monument – the only monument in the world to honour a pest – stands in the centre of Enterprise. It was erected in 1919 by the citizens, to show their appreciation.
The plaque reads: “In profound appreciation of the Boll Weevil and what it has done as the Herald of Prosperity, this monument was erected by the citizens of Enterprise, Coffee County, Alabama”
The people of Enterprise erected the monument as a tribute
to how something disastrous can be a catalyst for change,
and in gratitude for the lessons taught
and a reminder of how the people of Enterprise
adjusted in the face of adversity.
Most, if not all of us, have had “boll weevils” attack our lives
and in some cases, almost destroy them.
As a child of God, loved with an everlasting love
and assured of His effective provision in every area of our lives,
we can learn from the people of Enterprise
and their reaction to the pest of the Boll Weevil.
God never causes turmoil in our lives. He is incapable of causing harm, but He allows trials to unsettle us and He uses them to bring about a blessing. He uses them to move us towards maturity: towards Christlikeness. His help and all the resources He has provided are at our disposal, but it is our responsibility to turn to Him, to trust Him and to use the help He has provided.
Whatever “Boll Weevil” we encounter
can become a blessing in disguise
when we submit to His will, trust Him and follow His leading.
Mr Anon says:
# Where there are NO TRIALS there are NO TRIUMPHS
# When we don’t trust God to do what He promised, we call Him a LIAR.
# Victory is agreeing with God that what He says is true.
# All heaven is waiting to help those who seek the Lord and allow Him to direct their lives and handle their burdens.
# The only person who can stop you from being the person God intends you to be – is you!
Thank you, Angela, for the great post. It is encouraging to be reminded that what first appears as bad can be a catalyst to move closer to God and more blessings!
With hindsight, we can look back on our lives at previous times of deep distress or problems and thank God for them because we can see that the Lord used those times to “grow” us and to bring us closer to Himself.
What an amazing God!
I am encouraged to continue to stand on the promises of our Lord and Savior. Yes, it is difficult to deal with the boll weevils in my life, but I must believe the word of God which says, it is working out for my good! No, most of the time I don’t see it, but I believe God! The path of pain which I travel is difficult, but when I believe I am at my wits end, here comes my Jesus stepping right in! He never leaves me alone, and He has not forsaken me! I put all of my trust in Him! Thank you so much, for this encouraging message! God bless!
Paulette, you are an inspiration to me and I am sure to many others. As I’ve said before, physical pain has been a stranger to me for most of my life, but my stay in hospital in November made me realise what it must be like for you and others to bear almost constant pain. I was at my wits end after 17 days, but He stepped in just in time.
I know you will keep trusting Him and drawing strength from Him, and that He will continue to use you here and elsewhere to bring His Word and His Light to others.
“# All heaven is waiting to help those who seek the Lord and allow Him to direct their lives and handle their burdens.”
Wow, Angela, what a strong, reassuring post! I was so encouraged by the above statement. What are we waiting for? :)
God bless you as you seek Him and allow Him to direct your life and bless many!
What are we waiting for? – for SELF to get out of the way: as simple as that.
I have given you the Candle Lighter Award because I have found an enormous amount of light coming from your blogs. Thank you for your ministry.
I love it… awesome. Thanks for all the encouraging words, friend. God bless.
Thanks. We serve an awesome God.
Fascinating story, but I wonder about one bit. “He is incapable of causing harm”. Maybe I am spending too much time in the Old Testament, but there I see a jealous God who shows his wrath against those who despise him. The Lord’s nature is too bless, but also to judge sin. I’m no great Bible scholar, but I think it would be possible to debate this one from both sides. Certainly he can reject those who reject Christ, this could be a topic of many words of debate (but we don’t want to fall out!).
Hi Stephen. Reading the Old Testament, I would have to agree that God certainly did cause harm. I spent much time pondering over the way He commanded all women, children and animals to be slaughtered, trying to match this with the fact that God cannot change.
I believe the God of the New Testament is still the same as the God of the Old Terstament – but there is a difference. At Calvary, the wrath of God was poured out on all sin in Christ. Because all sin was judged, condemned and punished in Christ, God cannot now cause harm because of sin. Of course, there is a time coming when His wrath will again be poured out on all those who rejected His offer of salvation, but this will be after the age of grace in which we live.
We hear so much of “an act of God” with reference to cyclones, tsunamis etc. Have our actions over centuries caused these things? We see God blamed for human tragedies. But is it an act of God, or the result of the fall and downward path of mankind?
I agree with you this subject could be debated with much input from both sides, but I must say I am persuaded, after 53 years of knowing, loving and serving my heavenly Father, and being loved and protected by Him, that I believe He is a God of love – (in fact, He IS love) and that His wrath was poured out on our Redeemer. For those who don’t accept Him as Lord and Saviour, that wrath waits them at the last day.
>> (but we don’t want to fall out)
Certainly not! – and we won’t!
I will “break into the New Testament again very soon”, but my thoughts were provoked by the memory of York Minster, which was badly damaged after the cathedral was hit by lightning.
The “liberal” Bishop was not a believer, and this one act of God seemed to speak volumes of a God who is not silent, and certainly should never be mocked.
He’s coming soon to judge the quick and the dead!
I remember when York Minster was damaged and the talk that this was an act of God because of the bishop’s blasphemy (I don’t think that word is too harsh, but possibly not all his tirades were blasphemous) but I really have no reason to say this was an act of God – or to say God caused it.
Yes, He is coming soon and it won’t be long before His wrath is seen by all.
” When we don’t trust God to do what He promised, we call Him a LIAR.” How very true that is… everytime I doubt my Lord, or question why He has done something… I show my weak faith. Oh how I wish I could always… perfectly apply Roms 8:28 to my life!
(Rom 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I agree Rob. But I am thankful that with hindsight, we can look back at our former troubles and count them as joy, because we can see how God used them to “grow” us. This helps us to cope when fresh trials arise.
This is such a great reminder of the Lords’ faithfulness and His purpose for allowing suffering in this life! I’ve watched as much more mature believers were intensely tested and refined and, although pain was obvious, so was the light of Christ! I so desire a heart that is thankful for His personal attention to urging me to clean out the things which would prevent me from mirroring His likeness to others.
You DO mirror His likeness here Heather.
Of course, that likeness isn’t perfect – none of us can claim that! – but He is continually moving you towards His goal of Christlikeness.
We tend to think of Paul as a giant of a Christian, but he declared “that I may KNOW HIM” [Phil 3:10] near the end of his life – indicating a true acceptance of his own failings and the Lord’s enabling and undertaking for him.
Great post, God bless. :)
Thanks. We serve an awesome God who wants to bless us more than we want to be blessed.