Before I begin, I should tell you that the “Wait.. . what?” events I am reviewing do not go in chronological order.
Today, I am taking a closer look at 2 Kings 6:1-7. Let me give you the context: Elisha’s students are feeling cramped in the place where they sit to listen to and learn from Elisha. One day, they make a suggestion:
“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.” (v. 2, ESV).
Elisha agrees and ends up going with them when he is beckoned by one of his students to join them.
When they reach the Jordan, they don’t waste time. They begin cutting down trees.
And then. . .
“As one [student] was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water.” (v. 4, ESV).
That’s a bummer. What’s he gonna do? Sit and watch his fellow students sweat and toil as they are working hard to chop down timber? But his next words tell us there is more to it:
“Alas, my master! [talking to Elisha]. It was borrowed.” (v. 5, ESV).
This is a sinking feeling. Have you ever borrowed something and accidentally damaged it beyond repair or lost it?
Last year, we were requesting books through the library’s MN Link Gateway which gives you access to books that are impossible to find otherwise or incredibly expensive to purchase used because most of them are out of print. If you loose one of these, you will be charged $50. And we lost one (which is something I don’t do). I don’t loose things and certainly not something that is going to cost us $50. I searched the house from top to bottom and when it failed to turn up in the places I might think it would, I began frantically looking in the oddest of places (the freezer, the laundry room cabinets, the pantry, the fabric bin, etc.). I asked our daughters a multitude of times if they had seen it anywhere. Nope. Ugh. $50 for a book I don’t even want to add to our library collection? $50 for a book that may never show itself? $50 for a book that at one point cost $0.50? $50 out of the budget that we don’t have allocated to library fees? And how negligent I will look when I have to go and tell the librarian that we lost one of their trusted books.
“LORD, please show me where it is. Open my eyes that I might see it.” I begged.
Back to the story: You can imagine the river at this time was deep. If not, he would have waded out, shuffling his feet until he located it, and grabbed hold of it. But his frantic response tells us otherwise. He is not getting it back and that means he now has debt that will be an unbearable burden for him to carry.
And then, Elisha, the man of God, takes action:
“Where did it fall?” he asks (v 6).
When his student points out the spot in the river, Elisha “cut off a stick and threw it in t
here and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up.” So he [the student] reached out his hand and took it (v. 6-7).
Wait. . what?!
The axe head, made of iron, rose to the top of the water? What?!
Just like that. Elisha was not a magician; magic does not exist. Elisha simply trusted the LORD to do a miracle through him and he obeyed the prompts.
When we wonder if the small things in our lives matter to the LORD, let this story be proof. The student was burdened by this mishap and knew that he (along with the axe head) was sunk. He now had a debt that he wouldn’t be able to pay and he turned to the one who could do something (in these days the Spirit of the Lord rested upon His chosen prophets). And the compassion of the LORD went into full force, making the axe head rise to the surface so that this student could be released of a financial burden.
That is a truth that He has spoken to us time and time and time again, ultimately coming to release us of our unending, ever-incurring burden (sin)– a burden we could never pay for, and just like that, we are cleared when we accept His act of compassion.
And we can go to Him with any and every concern, disappointment, or frantic moment and know that He cares. Nothing is too big or too small to bring before Him. We can be bold, and ask for big things. He is, after all, God, who does the impossible. Let’s begin asking, bigger and bolder.
And the library book … it did show up. One morning, I went to move a random bag that was hanging on the door in our school room and when I picked it up, it was heavier than it should have been. When I looked inside, there it was. I took it out, got in our car, and drove it to the library, overcome with joy that what was once lost was now found and I was spared of paying the $50 fee.
Thank you, Jesus, for caring about both the big and small details of our lives.