In July of 1755, 20 years before the American Revolutionary War, Colonel George Washington, at the age of 23, fought alongside more than 1,300 men in a battle to run the French out of Fort Duquesne.
It was a bitter battle with French soldiers and Native American warriors pounding the American troops with constant fire. After the battle, Washington discovered four bullet holes in his jacket. Strangely, he was unharmed. He attributed his escape to the prayers of his devout mother.
Many years later, when Washington was again visiting Fort Duquesne, he met with a band of Native Americans who had fought against him in that battle. The Chief told Washington that he knew the Great Spirit was protecting Washington those many years ago.
The Chief had instructed his best marksmen to shoot at Washington. Each man took deadly aim, yet Washington escaped without even a scratch. That day, the Chief had predicted that Washington would someday serve as a great leader and the “founder of a mighty nation,” because God was protecting a leader with such high morals and such an impeccable character.
Washington led the Revolutionary War against England and King George III. The loss of the colonies was devastating to the King of England. He could not utter the word “Independence” for the rest of his life. When the fighting in America stopped, King George and all his royal cronies in Europe were sure that George Washington would have himself crowned “Emperor of the New World.”
That’s what they would have done. When he was told, on the contrary, that Washington planned to surrender his military commission and return to farming at Mount Vernon, George III said, “Well, if he does that, George Washington will be the greatest man in the world.”
There is great power in giving up power, in emptying oneself. Jesus did it twice — when he was born at Bethlehem and when he died upon the cross.