Since I just wrote about Washington, I thought I’d share with you something else very helpful about him I just shared with someone else. Our first President did have some wealth and a great place at Mt Vernon (I’d encourage you to visit sometime, its awesome) but he also was no stranger to adversity. Early in his life he contracted small pox, an often fatal disease then, as well as other major sicknesses. He was shot at several times in battle and yet survived, he was sniped at by supposed friends and associates (much like we face in the workplace and sometimes even in our churches sadly), he was even criticized a great deal by the Continental Congress. But all these things, just like in your life, God was endeavoring to use to mold a great man. And because George refused to cave to the pressure and take the easy path God was able to hone a gem !
But one story that particularly stands out by way of contrast to Washington’s choices was the case of Benedict Arnold. This man had done some bold things in battle and was distinguishing himself as a brave and skilled officer. Yet like Washington, many began to snub him. Arnold began to face more trials and when he proposed to a young lady and sent her a valuable engagement ring, she too snubbed him. He ended up marrying another girl soon after but his new bride was used to the finer things of life and her father wasn’t gung ho about the marriage and Arnold’s ability to “take care” of his daughter. Washington, ever the one to encourage his friends, gave him the reins over Philadelphia (then our new nation’s capital) and soon after also offered him a privileged place of honor alongside him in battle, but Arnold showed odd signs about these overtures by his commander. Gen. Washington was puzzled by his friend’s behavior until one night when it was discovered Arnold had sold out to the British ! Benedict Arnold, once a staunch patriot, was now found to be a great traitor. Why? he responded wrong to the trials in his life and his name has forever become synonomous with treason.
For days, Washington was very quiet and somber. Many in the army and Congress were perplexed at Arnold selling them out and endangering the Revolution. The thought flying around then was “If heroes like Arnold could desert, who was next? Who could really be trusted?'” As a friend, General Henry Knox posed this concern to his great friend, the Father of our Country wisely responded as a man who knew His Maker and His ways very well and simply said, “The Invisible Hand, General Knox. We can ALWAYS trust in the Invisible Hand !”
And trust they did, and the American Revolution went on to be a success and from thereon was founded the greatest nation the world has ever known by means of the “Invisible Hand” ! Why did Washington not buckle to adversity while Arnold did? FAITH in God and His Word !!! Every time you are challenged, will you take the road of Washington or Arnold? When people do you wrong, will you do right? When times are tough, will you seek the easy way or the correct path? You see, when the larger crises came, Washington was toughened through adversity and handling it right to choose what God wanted Him to choose. He had a habit of that, do you? It was the smaller adversities handled well that made it easier to handle the larger ones right. He’d allowed God to hone his character to a Christlike edge ! Daniel was faced with similar tests and when it was life or death about praying he chose prayer and wasn’t afraid of the consequences as he OPENED his window and prayed as he had many many times before ! (Dan.6:10). What will you do with the adversity God allows in your life today? Great men and women are not made in a moment but through God being allowed to work on us through the moments !! Trust the “Invisible Hand”.