Keep Your Powder Dry
If you have not used this statement before, chances are pretty good that you have at least “heard tell of it”, as we say down here in the south. I always thought it meant to simply stay calm and remain cool when under pressure. Never let them see you sweat, kind of thing. So you can imagine I was a bit surprised when I learned that the saying originated during the Revolutionary War period.
The phrase actually goes like this, “Trust in God, but Keep your Powder Dry.” (Not too surprising that over the years we’ve dropped the “Trust in God” part, but let’s get back to the topic at hand.)
I am a huge American History buff. And George Washington crossing the Delaware (then taking out the German mercenaries on Christmas Day) is one of my absolute favorite stories. A remarkable event.
Legend has it that General George Washington said to his soldiers before they began to cross the river in boats with their rifles in hand, “Trust in God, but keep your powder dry!” In other words, if we have come this far, and if all we have are our guns to do the job on the other side, do not, I repeat, do not let that gun or the gunpowder get wet! Protect your gear and your ammunition. It will be what leads us to victory or it will lead to our demise.
What in your life needs to be ultimately protected? Is there something that you need to focus on completely that could either mean life or death to a particular moment or situation? Maybe it’s mental, emotional, physical or spiritual. Only you know. It could mean a marriage, your job, a relationship, an event. It can be many things. And it might not be easy, but you know deep down, you’re going to need it down the road.
My thought today is, when you get to the really scary part of whatever it is that you have to do, Trust God. Trust Him to help you cross that river, in the dead of night, no matter how tired you are or how dangerous the task. Just keep going. Do what you have to do, and above all else, protect and keep your powder dry. Whatever that precious commodity is in your life. It’s all you will have with you when you land. And it is what you will desperately need with you when you come to the other side.
A little deep today, but I think you can navigate the literary waters.