Guest Clergy

Farrell Lemings

Obstacles and Opportunities

Farmers in southern Alabama were accustomed to planting one crop every year – cotton.  They would plow as much ground as they possibly could and plant their cotton. Year after year they lived by cotton.

Then one year in 1915 the dreaded boll weevil devastated the cotton crops in the whole area. 

The next year, hoping for a good harvest, the farmers mortgaged their homes and planted cotton again. But as the cotton began to grow, the insect came back and destroyed the crops, running most of the farmers out of business.

The third year, the few who survived those two years of the boll weevil decided to experiment. They tried something they’d never planted before: peanuts.  The peanuts proved so hardy and the market proved so ravenous for the product that the farmers who survived the first two years reaped profits the third year that enabled them to pay off all their debts. They planted peanuts from then on and prospered greatly.

Then, do you know what those farmers did? They spent some of their new wealth to erect a large monument in the town square of Enterprise, Alabama, in honor of the boll weevil.

If it hadn’t been for the boll weevil, they never would have discovered peanuts.  They learned that even out of the obstacles and challenges of life, God can bring good.

Every opportunity has an obstacle and every obstacle has an opportunity.  What we don’t want to do is allow the obstacle to cause us to lose sight of the greatness of God. In Psalm 46:1 the Psalmist wrote, Our God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

When the obstacles and challenges come – and they will – always look to God for the help that He can bring.  Our God is the One who can take impossible situations and turn them around.


Pastor Farrell Lemings is lead pastor at Grace Covenant Church, located at 17301 Statesville Road in Cornelius,