• Today's Daily Devotion
Strong and Courageous
“Mrs. Washington is excessive fond of the General and he of her. They are very happy in each other,” Nathanael Greene once communicated to his wife about the ...

Strong and Courageous

“Mrs. Washington is excessive fond of the General and he of her. They are very happy in each other,” Nathanael Greene once communicated to his wife about the perfume surrounding the Washingtons’ love for each other.

An officer’s wife made a similar observation. George Washington’s “Worthy Lady seems to be in perfect felicity while she is by the side of her Old Man as she calls him,” the woman said.

And when Washington passed away on December 14, 1799, Martha no doubt reflected on their life together. Thoughts of their wedding, Mount Vernon, the war, and the presidency must have pervaded her mind thousands of times. She surely cherished her choice of 1775, when loyalty and love led her to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to begin a life with her husband on the road. In total Martha spent about fifty-two months, or half the war, with her husband in camp or at a nearby location.

As she replied to letters of condolences from friends, particularly friends from the revolutionary years, Martha revealed the tenets of her faith. “When the mind is deeply affected by those irreparable losses which are incident to humanity the good Christian will submit Without Repining to the Dispensations of Divine Providence,” she wrote to Jonathan Trumbull on January 15, 1800, “and look for consolation to that Being who alone can pour balm into the bleeding Heart and who has promised to be the widow’s God.”

The Trumbulls were among the Washingtons’ many friends. Jonathan’s father was the Connecticut governor who had encouraged Washington to be strong and courageous when he assumed command of the army. Jonathan’s brother, John, was the young man who miraculously climbed the bullet-ridden hill at Newport to deliver messages in 1778. Today four of John’s murals, including one of Washington at Yorktown, adorn the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Martha replied to Jonathan’s letter with sentiment.

“I well knew the affectionate regard which my dear deceased husband always entertained for you and therefore conceive how afflicting his death must have been to you,” Martha wrote, noting her appreciation for Trumbull’s letter of condolence.

Her response also revealed her strength, courage, and faith. “For myself I have only to bow with humble submission to the will of that God who giveth and who taketh away looking forward with faith and hope to the moment when I shall be again united with a Partner of my life,” she concluded. “But while I continue on Earth my prayers will be offered up for the welfare and Happiness of my Friends among whom you will always be numbered being.”

Martha Washington chose to praise God during the sunset of her life.

Prayer

God, I praise your name. Your love, grace, and forgiveness transcend generations and are as real today as they were for Martha Washington after George’s death.

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised”

(Psalm 113:3).


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