The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will” John 13:7
On November 15th, 1781, General George Washington wrote to Thomas McKean, the president of the Continental Congress. He said; “I take a particular pleasure in acknowledging that the interposing Hand of Heaven, in the various instances of our extensive preparation for this operation [Yorktown battle] has been most conspicuous and remarkable.” On August 20th, 1778 George Washington wrote to his friend Brigadier General Thomas Nelson, “The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in this war, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked that has not the gratitude to acknowledge his obligations; but there will be time enough for me to turn “Preacher” when my present appointment ceases.”
General George Washington had a particular awareness that God was guiding and even intervening in daily activities during our nations war for independence. Washington noted again and again in his speeches or in his personal diary that the “Hand of Heaven” was behind the people’s struggle to cast off the tyranny of a mad king. He saw Divine providence as God’s caring provision for a people guiding them in their journey through life that they might accomplish His purpose both in and through them.
I love hearing the stories of when God intervenes in the course men. I love telling my own stories of how God either saved or provided for me, even in the midst of a struggle or trial. Much of the time God’s providence in our lives is only perceived in hind-sight. Jesus said to His disciples, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” Seeing God’s grace in the rear view mirror may be one of the ways we start understanding his providence in our lives, but could it be that our goal should be to reduce the time it takes to see His work in our lives? The veil between heaven and earth should grow thin if we but ask, seek and knock. (Matt. 7:7)
George Washington said that he “took particular pleasure in acknowledging the interposing Hand of Heaven,” being that it was “most conspicuous and remarkable.” May we likewise then, have the gratitude to acknowledge our obligations” and when the time comes, as our first president said, “to even turn Preacher!”
God’s providence is at work…let’s acknowledge it, let’s look for it, and let’s talk about it!