Never in your life have you had to face enemy fire—until that moment. You were in a 15-minute battle that killed 11 Frenchmen and one of the 40 Virginians under your command.
You’re a bit shaken when you come to the realization that you could have been one of the fallen on that day in 1754.
In a letter that you write three days later to your little brother John, you describe all of the dreadful details, but you conclude with this rather curious statement: “I can with truth assure you, I heard bullets whistle, and believe me, there was something charming in the sound.” Despite this lighthearted comment, there is no doubt in your mind that there was a higher power redirecting those bullets inches, even centimeters, to the left and right of your bewildered noggin.
You will never realize the importance of those whistling bullets until decades later. The letter you write was never intended to reach anyone’s eyes but your brother’s. But with time this proves impossible—because you are the venerable George Washington.
Fast-forward one year to July 1755—the Battle of the Monongahela.
The scene was one of utter chaos and mayhem. Colonel Washington was serving under British General Edward Braddock, trying to drive the French out of the Ohio Valley. But the French and their Indian allies ambushed the English and killed 714 out of 1,300 English regulars and 62 out of 86 English officers. Every officer on horseback was killed or wounded—except George Washington! This was made all the more impressive given the fact that Washington was riding his horse back and forth across the body-strewn battlefield to pass along various orders from the mortally-wounded General Braddock.
Washington’s survival was a miracle, and many eyewitnesses attested to that.
One soldier said this about George Washington: “I expected every moment to see him fall. Nothing but the superintending care of Providence could have saved him.”
No matter what the danger, God’s protection surrounded Washington every time. In retrospect, the founding of America wasn’t the accomplishment of men like Washington; it was the achievement of the God protecting and working through them.
Washington himself wrote this to his brother John: “[B]y the miraculous care of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me.”
Here’s something even more astounding: Sixteen years later, an Indian chief who had fought against the British in this battle finally met Washington and told him, “Our rifles were levelled against you; rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss. Twas all in vain; a power mightier than we shielded you. Seeing that you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you. … I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven and who can never die in battle.” They had no trouble hitting all the other British horsemen, but they couldn’t touch Washington!
This was just one of many battles where God intervened as Washington’s personal shield. During the Revolution, in the Battle of Brandywine, British Major Patrick Ferguson had the golden opportunity to shoot down an officer who, by many accounts, appeared to be George Washington. But somehow, he felt a sudden impulse to refrain from squeezing the trigger; something that 19th century historian Lyman Draper said “illustrates, in a forceful manner, the overruling hand of Providence.” Later in the Battle of Princeton and the Battle of Trenton, George Washington again experienced the thrill of “being shot at without result” (a feeling former English Prime Minister Winston Churchill was also fond of).
Today, if you hear historians discuss these events, you might hear them say things like, “It was a bit of a miracle,” or that “you almost have to believe” it was a miracle. What an understatement!
These numerous examples, and Washington’s role in the establishment of America prove that God was orchestrating events to fulfill His will for the United States. Washington should have died on several occasions!
These miracles prove that it is God who truly rules in the kingdom of men (Daniel 4:17). Only His purpose shall stand. That was true for the life of the United States, and it was true for the life of George Washington.
It’s also true for you and me. In fact, God is preparing us to be the Founding Fathers of a new world—the World Tomorrow. He’ll do whatever it takes to strengthen us and protect us with His miraculous power. Like it says in Joshua 1:9: “[B]e not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest”—just like He was with America’s primary Founding Father.