• Today's Daily Devotion
Predicting the Future
“MY DEAREST: I am now set down to write to you on a subject, which fills me with inexpressible concern, and this concern is greatly aggravated and increased, when I ...

Predicting the Future

“MY DEAREST: I am now set down to write to you on a subject, which fills me with inexpressible concern, and this concern is greatly aggravated and increased, when I reflect upon the uneasiness I know it will give you,” George Washington began his most famous letter to his wife, Martha, on June 18, 1775.

With the straightforwardness of a reporter and the drama of a novelist, Washington shared his news. Congress had placed “the whole army raised for the defense of the American cause” under his care. He told her it was necessary for him “to proceed immediately to Boston to take upon me the command of it.” He expressed his hesitancy to part from her and their family. Spending a day with Martha had brought him more than “seven times seven” years of happiness, far, far more than one day on the field could ever bring.

“But as it has been a kind of destiny, that has thrown me upon this service, I shall hope that my undertaking is designed to answer some good purpose,” he continued, adding that refusing Congress’s request would have brought dishonor on their family.

Washington also held the poet’s penchant for pithiness in his pen. He believed the conflict would be over within a few verses. He certainly did not expect a Homer-like epic. “I shall rely, therefore, confidently on that Providence, which has heretofore preserved and been bountiful to me, not doubting but that I shall return safe to you in the fall, …,” he wrote. “I therefore beg, that you will summon your whole fortitude, and pass your time as agreeably as possible.”

Washington also possessed the realism of a biographer. Because “life is always uncertain” he enclosed a copy of his will, recently drawn up, to provide for Martha in case of his death.

“I shall add nothing more, as I have several letters to write, but to desire that you will remember me to your friends, and to assure you that I am, with the most unfeigned regard, my dear Patsy, your affectionate, etc.”

With the control of a playwright, Washington sought to draft his own destiny. His desire to compose the four acts of his life was no different from anyone else’s. But George Washington acknowledged that the God who had preserved his life during the French and Indian War ultimately held his destiny. He could not predict the future. He didn’t know how this revolution would change him, but he was certain of one fact. Providence was the great author.

Prayer

Help me accept the truth that I cannot predict my future. Instead allow me to trust you today and tomorrow, knowing that you promise to be with me wherever I go.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”

(Proverbs 19:21).


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