Lessons From an Axe Head

Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, ‘See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.’ And he answered, ‘Go.’ Then one of them said, ‘Be pleased to go with your servants.’ And he answered, ‘I will go.’ So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.  But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, ‘Alas, my master! It was borrowed.’ Then the man of God said, ‘Where did it fall?’ When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, ‘Take it up.’ So he reached out his hand and took it.” 2 Kings 6:1-7

What an interesting little story God records for us here. Elisha is still rather new in his succession of the great Elijah, and God graciously continues to confirm him in the eyes of the people through small miracles.  God Almighty also shows us here that He cares about what we care about, and trains us to care with His heart. The man whose axe head came loose and fell into the water was now hindered in his work; additionally, he was more troubled not that he’d lost his tool, but that it belonged to another. God responds to both practical need and compassionate thinking. He wants us to think rightly and unselfishly, to care about others, not just our own agendas, and it’s as though He says here, “Yes! Your impulse is spot on! This matters because it belonged to someone else, and you should be caring about that.” One more thought: God can do anything! He Who raised Jesus from the dead can lift a heavy iron axe head from the depths of water, and can do what to us is impossible. (1 Peter 5:7; Matthew 19:26)

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All these acts our Lord works for us today. When He calls us to a new place or position, as we obey and walk ahead in faith, He kindly assures us we are in the center of His will. He trains us through sanctification to think as He thinks, to treat others as we should, and implants in us the will to act on new impulses. So often we have not because we ask not, and He is ready and willing and able to restore the broken, revive the dead, energize the listless, inspire the uncreative. He bids us to trust Him as Master and look to Him for our every need. What a God we serve! (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13;4:19; James 4:2)

Lord, may I never despise the day of small things, but instead marvel that You care about all that concerns us, and act so we see and exhibit Your power and glory. Sharpen my eyes to look for You, and my heart to trust You and thank You for every kindness. (Zechariah 4:10)

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