Wednesday, December, 7th, 2022

Richard A. Forrest, Called by God

Richard & Evelyn Forrest
Richard Forrest

Richard Forrest

“One of Richard’s greatest tests of faith came just before he graduated from [Nyack]. One afternoon, while standing on a street corner in New York City, he saw a man who was later president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Richard felt definitely called by the Lord to preach and he had been looking for a place to serve after his graduation. ‘Surely,’ he reasoned, ‘if anyone can help me, this well-known preacher can.’ Therefore, he walked over and asked if the man could direct him to a church, which he might pastor.

“To his amazement and chagrin, he heard a reply he hadn’t thought possible.

“’Richard,’ kindly answered the gentleman, ‘you can’t preach. I wouldn’t discourage you for the world, but in all honesty and fairness I have to tell you, you don’t have it in you. God didn’t call every to preach, my boy, man, and it seems to me that you’d be far wiser to get a job, become a good Christian layman and help support those who can preach. That’s an honorable profession, too, my lad, and we don’t have enough Christian laymen who are concerned with supporting those who can engage in preaching and doing missionary work.’

“He spoke on, counseling the young man as seemed to him best. Little did he realize that each word was falling like a stone into young Forrest’s heart.

“As soon as he could courteously do so, Richard parted from his elder. Almost blindly he hurried to his room, where he fell on his face on the carpet and nearly died. All his hopes and aspiration were shattered. What could he do now? Where could he turn? Was he mistaken—had God not called him?

“Then he prayed; and God came down from His throne on high and met His suffering child: ‘The race is not swift, nor the battle to the strong.’

“’Lord, Thou didst call me? I have heard Thee alright?’

“’Yes, my child, go on. Thy promise: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.’

“This was one more lesson taught by the Lord, one of the lessons which would hold him faithful during the following years: listen to God, not to man. Go ahead in spite of obstacles, if the Lord is leading. Furthermore, treat sympathetically anyone in similar circumstances. Never did he tell a boy that he was not called to preach. (He felt that the calling is a matter between the lad and God.) On the other hand, if the lad felt the call, he did everything in his power to help the boy along the way.” (Taken from Achieving the Impossible With God)

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