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June 11, 2007

Discovering God’s Potential

Have you ever wondered if God can use you? At some point, most of us have. We sigh, “Lord, there is no way I can serve you. I’m not talented, bright, gifted, or educated.” Placing limitations on God’s ability is never wise. It prevents Him from doing what He does best: the impossible. He planted this same ideal in the hearts and minds of Dr. and Mrs. Forrest. Along the way, they met many people, who for one reason or another felt their lives would never count. Poverty, sin, and a lack of desire had stolen their dreams. But Richard and Evelyn Forrest were determined to rekindle hope in as many lives as possible. In fact, we never read where the Forrests gave up on a single person. They were in the business of preparing men and women for God’s service.

Richard Forrest met Sue Ralls and her family while they were living in Tiptop, Tennessee. He had been asked to preach at their church. Like so many in that day and time, the family had very little money. However, Richard immediately recognized Susie’s potential. In Achieving The Impossible with God, he says, “The Ralls had an old parlor organ in their home. Some of the keys would stick and one pedal was broken. Susie would sit at this organ furiously working that one good pedal and playing ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ and other pieces.” Three years after meeting Rev. Forrest, Susie came to Toccoa Falls. “The Forrests took special pains about her musical education, sent her to the conservatory in Atlanta, Georgia, and then to the conservatory at Brenau College in Gainesville.” Not only did they take her into their home, they also paid for Susie’s education beyond the years she spent at Toccoa Falls. Why? The answer is easy: They saw potential—the same thing God sees in our lives.

Years later, Susie returned to Toccoa Falls where she married Jack Mathes, the school’s business manager. She also became the head of the music department. In fact you probably have seen her photograph on this Web site or in a historical brochure from the college. She is the one sitting up front hands neatly folded in the photograph of a group that bore her name: Aunt Susie’s band. The many lives she briefly touched at Toccoa Falls were lives God later used around the world. And it all began because someone saw potential in a young girl’s life.

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