“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…So help me God!”
Today marks the 224th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States. What a momentous occasion! Only six years removed from the official end of the Revolutionary War with Great Britain and a weeble-wobble start under fickle laws and rules that tried to bind us together as a united nation. Not long after the adoption and ratification of the newly signed Constitution, George Washington was called upon, unanimously, to serve as its first President. Most historians will attribute many traditions we now have in our government to the precedents set by Washington in his 8 years in office. One of those enduring traditions is the 4-word phrase he added on the end of his initial oath of office, “so help me God”. There are many occasions in Washington’s life as a soldier and politician that he attributed to God. The man understood God’s providence in his life and knew he needed to rely upon Him in all things.
I got to thinking about this phrase and how it relates to my life. How often do I declare as I sit down at my desk for work, as I drive home, or any other time, “so help me God”. Truthfully, I don’t use that particular phrase, but not a day goes by where I do not make an effort to acknowledge Him in my life. I am nothing without Him! I understand that there is nothing about me that will get me through each day. I know that I am dependent upon Him for strength, wisdom, discernment, speech, and action. When the going gets rough, I look to Him for all I need.
Are there times in your life when you struggle? Times when you get anxious? Times when you fear? Are there responsibilities that you’ve been given and you don’t think you’re the “man for the job”? What do you do? I can tell you that all too often, I try to solve the problem myself. Oh, how this has failed. I don’t know what it is that makes me think I can handle any situation without God. You know what that’s called? Pride.
One of my goals every day is to release this sense of pride. Funny enough, I often think of Abraham Lincoln in my struggle with pride. In dealing with the Civil War, the death of his son, and all the other pressures that come with being the President, he proclaimed: “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” This is how I have to start my day. I don’t have anywhere else to go. I am insufficient. I have got to be on my knees.
Lord, you are my all. You are my everything. My prayer is that I will constantly and consistently seek You in all I do. May the sun never set without full acknowledgement of Your presence in my life. You are my source of life. May I find strength every day to believe in Your promise to me that You are with me wherever I go. I have no reason to fear. I have no reason to doubt. In all I do, may I look up and see You. So help me God!
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling…’Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” ~ Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:6-7
Rak Chazak!! God bless you!!