Monday, September 26, 2016

Jonathan Goforth-God Wouldn't Let Me Wear Rags to Preach

By Mary Vee
Year: 1887
Jonathan Goforth-28 years old

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

A man's suite worn
in the 1880's
Photo Courtesy
My name is Jonathan Goforth. I will be a missionary to China some day. Deep inside, I feel the day is getting closer. Until then, I am doing what God shows me to do.

Preaching practically everyday was on my top two favorite things to do. I spoke at the jail, at the mission, and at churches. My schedule didn't have room for any new opportunities...and that was what I liked.

The problem, though, was my suit. I still wore the same suit my mother finished making for me days before I left home. I'd bought material for a new suit, but the guys in the dorm ruined it within the first week of college. They're sorry, but I still could use a new suit.

This may sound odd, but I took the problem to God. Yes, God listens even to our concerns about clothing. I prayed every night and day, asking Him to give me a new suit. I'd work for the money. I'd trade work for the fabric. Whatever God wanted me to do, I would do.

One day, I happened to be walking down a street with many shops. A tailor stood outside his door and watched the people walking by. As I walked near he called to me. "You. Young man. Yes you. Come into my shop I have something to show you."

Well, this was a typical way shop owners used to get people into their store. Once the customer was inside, they tended to buy something. I didn't have any money so I shook my head and kept walking.

"Young man, if I could have only a moment of your time. Please."

Well, I couldn't resist. He seemed so determined to show me whatever. I decided I'd look at the item, politely say no then leave. We walked into the store.

"Wait right here," he said to me.

So I did. The tailor had some very nice suits displayed. He walked out of the backroom carrying a black suit. I have to say, it was a magnificent suit. One only a rich man could afford.

He took the jacket off the hanger and held it out for me to thread my arms through. I hesitated but respected him. He walked around me, smoothing the back, tugging on the shoulder seams, pulling down on the hem. "Yes.This fits you perfectly. It's for you."

I took the coat off, "You don't understand, I could never afford this suit coat. Thank you." I handed it back to him but he wouldn't take it.

"Young man, a wealthy customer ordered this suit. He was the same size as you. I received a message from him saying he no longer wanted it. Now, I'm stuck with this suit. I'm giving it to you--for free."

Can you imagine the fifty thousand thoughts I had swirling around in my head? God gave me a suit!! He put in the mind for the rich man to order the suit at this time. He had the tailor finish the work today. The wealthy man was the same size as me. And now the tailor wants to rid himself of this magnificent suit!!!

I held God's gift in my hand--speechless. And let me just say, I am never speechless!! But I was then.

I decided to only go to this man's shop when I needed to buy a suit. He deserved the business for his kindness. And I did. Even years later, I made sure I came to this city and visited his store when I needed a new suit.

God is so good to us. He even supplies the little things we need.

Jonathan has many stories to share. Come back each Monday to find out what happened next.

Resources Used for This Series
Being, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China. Seattle. WA: YWAM Pub., 2001.Print
Doyle, G. Wright. Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders. Eugene Oregon: Pickwick Pub, 2015. Print.
Goforth, Jonathan, and Rosaline Goforth, Miracle Lives of China, London" Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1931, Print.
Goforth, Jonathan. "By My Spirit" Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1942. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Climbing; Memories of a Missionary's Wife. Chicago: Moody Pub, n.d. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How I Know God Answers Prayers; The Personal Testimony of One Life-time, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1921. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Jonathan Goforth. Minneapolis, MN: Bethan House, 1986. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How God Answers Prayer: The Mighty Miracles of God from the Mission Field of Jonathan Goforth. USA: Revival, 2016. Print Original copyright not stated.
Jackson, Dave, and Neta Jackson. Mask of the Wolf Boy: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1999. Print.
McCleary, Walter. An Hour with Jonathan Goforth: A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1938. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Jonathan Goforth: Never Give up. Seattle, WA: YWAM, 2004. Print.


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