Quirky stories always fascinate me. Not sure why, but they do.
I recently read a story of an eyeless, hairless cat named Jasper, who has over 80,000 social media followers! (I’d show you a picture, but it’s disturbing.)
There’s another peculiar story hidden in the Old Testament (2 Kings 6:4-7) about a miracle done by Elisha.
Here’s the Bubna paraphrased version:
The prophets-in-training seminary was getting crowded in the dorms. Somebody said, “Let’s go down to the Jordan river and cut some logs to expand our living quarters.”
While they were cutting some trees down, one of the guys lost his ax-head in the water. He panicked because it was borrowed from a buddy.
Elisha asked, “Where did you lose it?” When the young prophet showed him, Elisha cut a branch and threw it near the spot and made the iron ax-head float.
“Grab it,” Elisha said, and the man reached out and took it.
See . . . odd, huh?
Losing something isn’t weird. (Where did I put my keys?) But a floating ax-head is unusual.
I’ve read this passage many times, and generally, I blaze right through it without a lot of thought. But last week, it hit me, what’s the point of this story?
Yes, it demonstrates God’s presence and power given to Elisha. And it could, I suppose, show how God cares about us—even about the little things like a lost ax-head.
But what do you do when you’ve lost your cutting edge?
What do you do when you’ve been working hard, but somehow your momentum comes to a screeching halt?
What do you do when something unforeseen happens, and you panic?
Here are some insights about what to do when you’ve lost your edge:
1. Get help.
The first thing the young prophet did was cry out for help. He didn’t hide his struggle or problem. He didn’t ignore it. He didn’t give up.
He knew he was in trouble because the ax was borrowed. And as a poor student, he didn’t have the resources to buy another one.
So, he cried out to Elisha, “Oh no, my leader, I’m in trouble here!” And Elisha, who represented the Lord, came to his rescue.
When you’ve lost it (whatever it is, and for whatever reason), turn to Jesus first, and then to the others He has placed in your life.
You are not alone.
2. Do some thinking about where you lost your edge and why.
Elisha asked, “Where did it fall?” This question made the kid stop and think. He had to consider what happened and where he lost his edge.
Yes, we all need help, but a wise person will reflect on some crucial questions.
What could I have done differently or better?
What can I learn from this situation?
We all lose our edge at times. We all fail. We all find ourselves in an unexpected predicament from time to time. An ax can get away from the best of us.
So stop and contemplate how you can grow through this, not just go through it.
3. Listen to God and partner with Him to get your edge back.
Elisha cut the stick and threw it in the water, but then the guy had to follow Elisha’s instructions and lift it out.
Some of us (like me) get so depressed at times that we stop listening to God, and we want Him to fix everything for us.
Certainly, God is willing to help—even with the miraculous, at times—but more often than not, He wants to partner with us. Jesus frequently gave post miracle instructions to the people He healed.
God can do anything and everything, but apparently, He values our obedience and cooperation.
And so He may tell you, “Ok, I intervened, but you’ve still got some heavy lifting to do.”
Do it and get back to chopping.
Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float.
“Lift it out,” he said.
Then the man reached out his hand and took it.
2 Kings 6:6-7