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July 30, 2007

The Center of God’s Will

After the Haddock Inn fire, Richard Forrest asked several of his closest friends what they thought about the school’s future. This can be a display of extreme wisdom—seeking the counsel of others—especially if those we ask are interested in God’s will and not just in giving us their opinion. Most of us know by now that Sarah Staley’s first comment was, “Of course, we’ll go on. We can’t stop. The Lord called us to do this work.” Others were not so sure. Some of the faculty voiced their concern saying they “could not see how the school would continue.” After all, most if not every textbook, desk, and blackboard had been reduced to cooling embers and lay in a pile of rubble near the Toccoa Falls lake.

Isn’t it wonderful that human sight is not a requirement for faith? If it were, imagine how many of us would have turned around and not followed through on the very things God had given us to do. There came a point when Richard and Evelyn Forrest had to disregard any notion of clinging to the world’s opinion. They asked for the prayers and the support of their friends, but their minds were made up: they would continue. The last thing on their minds was 50, 60, and especially 100 years into the future.

Their eyes were trained on God and nothing else. In fact, anything else other than Him—His will, His purpose, His plan—would have been considered a distraction. “Up to the point of the fire, we had been living under the canopy of His blessings—dining on the richest of spiritual foods,” wrote Richard Forrest. “However, in the spring of 1913, the battle began in earnest. It was one we never planned to lose—nor did we—thanks to God, who knew from the beginning all that we would face and all He would accomplish for His glory through the lives of those who attended Toccoa Falls.”

(Taken from the online book Grace in The Wilderness © 2007