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December 31, 2007

God’s Timing—Not Ours

In October 1940, Dr. Forrest listed several problems confronting the college. He wrote, “The abnormal expansion of the past three years from one hundred to more than four hundred students has made it necessary for much additional equipment.” The following is a list of what he called opportunities for someone to help and become a part of the work God was doing at the school.

    • More classroom space due to the increase in enrollment from a hundred students to over four hundred. He wrote, “Classes are now being held in every conceivable corner and the inconvenience reduces efficiency.”

    • A new chapel because they had outgrown the original one constructed a short time after the dining hall located in the center of campus. “It is impossible to seat all our students at the same time in our chapel services. What a beautiful memorial a church building . . . would be.”

    • Additional dormitory space, which would be used to relieve the crowded living conditions. “We now have four and even five students crowded into a room where ordinarily there would be two. The management has been put to its wits’ end to know how to take care of all the students who want to come.

    • A new barn was needed because the old one was not adequate. The college had a large herd of Guernsey cattle but the Health Department said it would have to be replaced. At the time, the students were drinking over eighty gallons of milk a day!

Knowing that God is both willing and able, Dr. Forrest turned to the Lord in prayer. He also asked friends, and the college’s family to pray with him and ask God to send the money needed to relieve the strain. “And to what end?” asks Lorrene Moothart in Achieving The Impossible with God. “To the end that within the next five years all but one of these proposed projects became a fact!” The one that was not completed, of course, was the chapel.

As you read about Dr. and Mrs. Forrest, you can’t help but learn how they trusted God in times of trouble and great need. But their faith in His ability went far beyond what they “felt” was needed at the moment. They trusted Him with the future. Each one of the prayer requests listed above where things that they needed “right now.” Yet we know they had to wait five years to see the needs met and even then one was not completed until recently. Do you have this type of faith—waiting faith—the kind that wants to be in step with God’s plan, His blessings, and His provision?

Faith that holds out even when everything inside of you wants to forge ahead is seasoned faith. Richard Forrest could have gone to the bank, called potential donors, and pleaded for more funds to be given. He chose instead to make the need known and wait for God’s timing because He knew when the answer came, it would be abundant and overflowing. In fact, by December of the same year, two modern dairy barns were completely built, paid for, and in use. The smaller one was a modern milking barn with up-to-date equipment. And the larger one was a sleeping barn, where the cows had adequate protection from rain and cold.

(Taken from the online devotional Grace in The Wilderness © 2007 Some information adapted from Achieving The Impossible with God © 1956 Toccoa Falls College.)