Hands Full of Gunpowder by Pastor Karl If you’re like me, then you probably enjoy a good story or two! Well let me share a quick story that took place back in the Civil War. I think you’ll enjoy it !
When the Federal troops occupied Cheraw, South Carolina, the Confederates left so much gunpowder behind that the Union troops decided to dump most of it in a little creek. Some of the Union troops were looking for some entertainment so they scooped up handfuls of the powder and carried it to their cooking fires a few hundred yards away, where they exploded it amid much shouting and laughter. With each handful they grew more careless, and left numerous crisscrossing trails of powder running back to the ravine.
Sergeant Theodore Upson of the 100th Indiana had just started his coffee boiling when he saw a little flash of powder running along the ground. A moment later he noticed that the powder flashes had multiplied and were running in all directions. Someone yelled, “Look out for the magazine!” Upson and his comrades made some pretty quick moves in putting as much space between themselves and the creek bed as the burning powder trails would allow. “Then there was a tremendous explosion,” Upson recorded. “The dirt and stones flew in every direction.” The ground shook for miles.
The force of the blast destroyed several houses and shattered nearly every window in town. A storm of shell and shrapnel rained down for a half-mile in every direction. One officer and three enlisted men were killed as a result of the blast, and more than a dozen were wounded.
Rumor had it that Sherman at first believed the explosion was an act of sabotage, and was on the verge of issuing orders to burn the rest of the town and execute the mayor in retaliation. He relented, however, when he learned that it was the carelessness of his own men that had caused the devastation.
I find this story to be pretty funny as I imagine being there at the outskirts looking in at all this taking place. It seems so careless looking in from the outside; but it seems like those in the midst of the excitement failed to recognize the potential destruction that was closing in.
Unfortunately I see so many people who live without a sense of any ‘oncoming traffic’ so to speak. People who only live for the moment often find themselves with fists full of powder just waiting to be lit.
Proverbs 6:27-28 says, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?”
My advice put down the gunpowder. Let go of anything in your life that is not moving you forward in life and in Christ. Walk away from anything that is bound to start sending you a kind of repercussion that you aren’t looking for.
Take an inventory of your life. Identify those things that hold you back and keep you down. Then do whatever you need to do to break free. Practically this can look so different from person to person. In Christ though, we have been given the power over sin, so if you need a little something extra, spend some time with the one who has already conquered it.
1 Tim 6:11 says, “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”