It goes without saying that Thanksgiving is a day for thankfulness directed at family, friends, good health, security, country, and good fortunes. Certainly we are thankful for these priorities every day of the year, but it is on this day that we focus on what’s important in our lives. We take a break from the mundane day-to-day living of our lives to direct our attentions to the obvious highlights of our lives. It is on Thanksgiving Day that we take a breath and pause to thank God for our bountiful blessings.
Aside from the conscious effort we make to be grateful for the obvious gifts bestowed upon us, we seldom look at the big picture. Sure, we have a few words of recognition for the Pilgrims and their original feast of Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, it always comes down to us; our kids, our grandkids, our accomplishments, what we have, and the platitudes that surround our personal good fortune. Do we really give much thought as to Divine Providence?
This Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2016, I would like to pay a special tribute to one of the most valiant and honorable leaders of all time, President George Washington. I am so thankful for the life of this man whom I believe was the foundation of the United States of America and the legacy of liberty. Washington was a man of the ages, used by God to change the course of mankind. It was Washington’s righteousness and decency which became the bedrock for the country which would be the inspiration for freedom all across the world. George Washington’s life of servitude to his country was Divine Providence to which every single American owes a debt of thankfulness.
When I began studying George Washington years ago, I became mesmerized by the man and his integrity. His entire life was one of self sacrifice and generosity. I didn’t learn about the “Real” George Washington in the public school system. Hokey jingles about Washington’s honesty were commonplace, but not until I began reading and studying multiple accounts of George Washington’s life did I really understand the superior character of the man who went from surveyor to the first President of the greatest country in the world.
And it was during this time that I really began to understand that George Washington, a man who greatly respected Divine Providence, was indeed the answer to the prayers of the colonists and generations of Americans to come. Whether they understand it or not, George Washington and his life were Divine Providence, and without him, the United States of America would have never existed.
Washington was chosen unanimously as the Continental Army’s Commander-in-Chief. He was voted unanimously to be the President of the First Continental Congress. And he was unanimously chosen as the First President of the United States. There was never any question among the original Founders as to which man was the divine leader of the Revolution. Thomas Jefferson once said that Washington was as close to perfect as a man can be and that his judgement was never wrong. He was admired by all that knew him.
Any attempts by Progressives to discount the Christian faith of George Washington are bogus. The examples of Washington’s belief in Divine Providence are noted in his many declarations and letters. In his First Inaugural Address, Washington stated, “Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In rendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments, not less than my own, nor those of my fellow citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”
On October 3, 1789, thanking God for the Constitution, Washington stated, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of All Mighty God,……I do recommend……..rendering unto Him, our sincere and humble thanks,for………..the favorable interpositions of His Providence we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war….for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government.”
On July 9, 1776, General Washington had the Declaration of Independence read to his troops and had the chaplains include, ” The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.”
On May 2, 1778, Washington wrote at Valley Forge, “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian.”
On May 12, 1779, Washington said to Delaware Indian Chiefs, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and way of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.”
In his Farewell Address in 1796, Washington stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.”
During the Revolutionary War, on the battlefield Washington had two horses shot from under him, four holes shot through his clothing, and a gold medallion shot from his chest, while all other mounted officers were killed. His good fortune at escaping injury and death in battle was not luck. It was Divine Providence.
Bring on the turkey, bring on the stuffing, bring on the cranberries, and bring on the pie. But in todays prayers of Thanksgiving, praise be for the life of President George Washington. His was truly a life of Divine Providence.
God Bless America!