At the age of nineteen, he contracted smallpox but survived. His father died when he was eleven. While on a surveying trip, his straw bedding caught fire as he slept. Fortunately, a fellow surveyor doused the blaze. He was chosen as major and district adjutant of Virginia’s colonial troops at the age of twenty-one and commissioned to deliver an ultimatum to a French commander—a duty that entailed a hazardous, wintertime, wilderness trip.

By the age of twenty-three, George Washington had survived fire, smallpox, Indian ambushes, and battles with the French. Many attributed his achievements and survival to God’s providence. Reverend Samuel Davis, a prominent Presbyterian minister, said, “I may point out to the public that heroic youth, Colonel Washington, whom I cannot but hope Providence has hitherto preserved in so signal a manner for some important service to his country.”

But does God have a plan for me—and everyone, as he did for America’s first president? Many years earlier, God said to the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

God is the Creator of all people and makes the choice to create. It seems ludicrous that he would create me—or anyone, with no purpose in mind. Fulfilling God’s purpose is made possible by appealing to the natural talents, spiritual gifts, and unique personality he has given me.

Though God has a plan for me, he won’t force it upon me. I must discover it by asking him to reveal it. Through prayer, Bible study, experience, and listening to other believers, I can know God’s plan for my life. And when I finally discover it, I’ll enjoy abundant living. Just as God preserved Washington for service to a young country, so he will make our contribution to our historical period unique as well if we follow his lead.

Don’t settle for less than the best. Discover God’s plan for your life.

Photo by Alex Grodkiewicz on Unsplash