By Wenjing, Italy
My husband and I are growers of greenhouse vegetables. In the past we planted cucumbers, but it was troublesome: We must germinate them, grow seedlings, water them, fertilize the land, prevent and control plant diseases, etc. Therefore, in 2015, we discussed growing chrysanthemums instead because it was much easier, so we didn’t need to spend too much time tending them and then we would have time to work for the Lord.
Afterward, we ordered 20,000 chrysanthemum seedlings. Unexpectedly, when we got the seedlings, many of their heads were rotten. I was so angry that I called the seller and asked him to inspect these seedlings. Afterwards, he gave us 100 seedlings as a compensation. Because there was still plenty of room left in our greenhouse, we bought another 2,000 seedlings, and we planted all of them. A week later, those seedlings, whose heads were rotten, all died. Facing this situation, my heart was aching. I thought we would not only fail to have a good harvest this year, but also were likely to take a loss. In order to minimize the loss, I wanted to root up all seedlings and then grow other plants. But my husband disagreed with me, saying: “Even though there are only 10,000 seedlings left, if every plant produces four or five blooms, we can get back the money we have spent. Now it’s too late to grow other plants. Besides, if we do so, we will miss meetings and delay serving the Lord and it will affect the growth of our spiritual lives. It’s not worth it.” After hearing his words, I thought: Yes. We can’t delay our belief in God. I’m willing to give up rooting up them. How many seedlings can live is determined by God. Whether we can make money or how much is also preordained by Him. Thinking of this, I had the confidence to entrust all this to God and was willing to submit to His sovereignty and arrangements.
Then we nipped the heads of the seedlings off and made the seedlings grow again. After a week, the seedlings sent out branches. As a rule, every plant would divide into five or six branches, but most of ours only divide two or three. Seeing this, my husband lost heart and said: “It’s over. The way things are now, there will be no harvest. If we continue growing them, I’m afraid we even can’t get back the money we have spent. We’d better root them up and give up.” I thought: If we had done that a week ago, perhaps we could have planted other plants. But now it’s cold and it’s too late to grow other plants. Then I said: “Since it is this way, whether it does or doesn’t succeed doesn’t matter. How many branches our flowers come out doesn’t matter.” My husband helplessly said: “Oh well.” Later, we were busy serving the church and seldom tended the flowers. Later, we simply employed an old woman to manage our greenhouse for us.
As the days passed, when our flowers grew to a height about 10 centimeters, they stopped growing and every branch began to develop buds. The other growers laughed at us: “How have you grown the flowers? Your flowers are short and thin. They don’t look good. See your neighbor’s flowers. They still don’t bloom while they are strong and high. But your flowers have budded while they are so short. How can they look like chrysanthemums? When the time comes, to whom can you sell them?” Hearing their words, I felt very upset and thought: Our flowers indeed have no way to compare with the neighbor’s. But then I reconsidered: There’s the saying, “Humans may sow the seed, but the harvest depends on Heaven.” How the flowers look and whether they will grow well are in God’s hands and not up to me. You can say whatever you want to. I will entrust all this to God and let Him decide. I’m only willing to obey God’s rule and arrangements.
The chrysanthemum growers told us: “If you want your flowers to grow big and get a good price, once the buds appear, you can pluck the buds except the one in the center of every branch.” Thus, my husband asked the old woman to do that. However, when she saw there were so many buds needing plucking, she couldn’t bear to pluck all, leaving many of them. Besides, she easily planted the heads of plants nipped off in the soil. When I went to look, the buds were to open, including the flowers she planted. On the fourth week, our flowers all bloomed. Unexpectedly, when our flowers could be gathered, a great flood suddenly happened to the southern area that was rich in flowers and the flowers were flooded. What’s more, it was just winter, and there was a shortage of flowers, so the flower prices jumped and demand for flowers exceeded supply. Our flowers were short and small. If it had been at the ordinary times, nobody would buy them. But during this period, as soon as we gathered all the flowers, someone came to buy them, and even the flowers the old woman planted were sold at a high price.
Later, the old woman said to me: “See your neighbor. He always practiced divination, told fortunes, and planned that two greenhouses of flowers would bring about lots of money. He even imagined he could use the money to build a house. But it didn’t turn out as he intended. Though his flowers grew high and strong, they didn’t bloom when the prices were high; when he gathered flowers, the flower prices fell ten times; after he sold out his flowers, he still needed to spend much money pulling up the stalks. However, for you, you didn’t do much work, and gathering your flowers was also easy; they were short and small, but fetched such a good price and were sold out when the flower prices were highest. You are so blessed. That’s fate. This can’t be achieved by divination and fortune telling.” Hearing this, I unceasingly thanked God in my heart. From this situation, I indeed saw everything is in God’s hands. That we could have such a good harvest this year was God’s grace. God’s deeds are too wonderful!
Thank God. From this experience, I had a deeper knowledge of God’s authority and sovereignty. I saw whether animals or plants, alive or dead are within God’s rule and arrangements, and that everything He arranges for us is the best. I recalled the past: When I wanted to root up all flowers, God maneuvered my husband to obstruct me; how the buds grew, when the flowers bloomed, and how many flowers the plants produced were in God’s hands; so were the old woman’s thoughts. She didn’t know how to grow chrysanthemums, yet planted the heads of seedlings nipped off in the soil, and under God’s sovereignty, these plants grew and bloomed the same as the ordinary plants. When the time to sell flowers came, the flood happened to the growers in the south, so that our flowers were sold at the outside price. We didn’t spend so much time tending flowers but only focused on serving God and employed the old woman to manage our greenhouse, but we easily made several times the money than we spent. Our neighbor painstakingly tended his flowers, but they were sold at a lower price than ours. This was because humans may sow the seed, but the harvest depends on Heaven and everything depends on God’s sovereignty. Through this experience, I saw all these were God’s wonderful deeds, and how much money I could make was predestined by God and what we gained today was all God’s blessings.
Having experienced this thing, I realized God’s purpose of arranging such environments wasn’t only to bless me to earn money, but allow me to experience, see, and know His almightiness and sovereignty. I truly felt all things including the hearts and spirits of man were in God’s hands. When all I thought about was working for the Lord, and I didn’t focus much on the greenhouse, God not only didn’t mistreat me, but multiplied my blessings, which made me see His heart is so good and experience His grace is so great. Thanks be to God! This experience gave me more confidence to entrust all to God and submit to His sovereignty and arrangements. All the glory be to God. Amen!