Do Your Axe Heads Float?

Do your axe heads float? I have found that many of mine don’t. Before you get too confused or frustrated to continue reading, I should tell you that I was reading through the ministry of the prophet Elisha recently. (1 Kings 19 – 2 Kings 13) He did some pretty strange stuff. I mean, he does the kinds of things that if you don’t believe Genesis 1:1, they’ll make you think that the Bible is just ancient Jewish folklore.

He really is quite an amazing prophet. After the spectacular departure of his master Elijah (2 Kings 2) he goes on to perform stunning miracles. Consider this…early in his ministry he made water rush into and fill a dry creek bed to water the armies of three kings. Next he took up the cause of a widow who was about to be sold into slavery along with her son and caused her single small jar of oil to fill enough jars to pay off their creditors completely. Then there’s the Shunammite woman’s son. He literally lies down on top of the dead boy and the child comes back to life! He goes on to purify a pot of deadly stew so the sons of the prophets can eat during a famine and he healed Naaman from leprosy.

It’s among these amazing, almost outlandish miracles that I came across one that made me stop and think. (as if the others didn’t spin the wheels a turnin’ in my mind) It’s found in 2 Kings 6. The sons of the prophets go down to the Jordan River to cut down trees and built a place to live. Elisha goes with them. While cutting down the trees one of the men looses an axe head that he borrowed for the task. The man tells Elisa who cuts off a stick, throws it in the water and makes the iron axe head float to the surface. The man who lost it reached out his hand and picked it up.

This is what I don’t understand. It was just an axe head. Okay, it was borrowed. So just replace it. Now I know that it required perhaps more money than the man had but there was a company of prophets there. Surely among all of them they could find the funds necessary to replace the borrowed axe head. It just doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me. Not exactly in line with watering three armies from a dry creek bed, saving a widow and her son from slavery, raising a child back to life and curing a Syrian commander of leprosy. This floating axe head feels out of place here. It’s just not important enough. That’s what caught me off guard with this story.

I think that far too many times in my life I fail to take the little things that stress, worry, concern or bother me to God because I imagine that they are too small and I don’t want to ‘inconvenience’ God with my unimportant matters. But if they’re unimportant, why do they stress me? And if they bother me, why wouldn’t I take them to God?

Isn’t God busy being concerned with the AIDS epidemic in Africa, the sex-slave traffic in Asia, the persecution of Christians around the world, the plight of the gospel among unreached people groups, wars, famine and injustice around the globe? You know, the important things that are happening every second on the planet? The things He had Elisha engaging in during his brief ministry?

I mean, it’s not like my child is dying, or I am suffering from a life-threatening disease or my family is going to be sold into slavery. It’s more like…we need a building for our church…I need to get a project done for work and the pieces aren’t falling into place…I’m overcommitted but I need to honor my word.

These are the little ‘axe heads’ in my life. And rather than taking them to God, I just often just let them sit there at the bottom of the river and try to figure out how I’m going to replace them. Meanwhile, God is sitting firmly on His throne. And yes He is engaged in the AIDS epidemic and everything else mentioned above. But He is not ‘busy’. Not like we, or at least I, sometimes think.

While He is present and actively engaged in all of those things He is also present and engaged with you and me. He’s watching as our axe heads fly out of control toward the river. He’s waiting for us to take our problems and concerns to Him. He’s wondering why we go out and busy ourselves trying to replace them. He’s wishing that we would just turn and release all of our cares and concerns to him. (Phil. 4:6-7)

So many of my axe heads lie lifelessly at the bottom of the river. All the while God stands ready to throw a stick into the water and make iron float. He wants me to marvel at His power over the physical laws of nature. To wonder like David did that the God of the universe knows my name. To experience His peace that surpasses all of my pitiful understanding. To experience Him as He provides for my simple needs.

You’re axe heads can float. So can mine. Just like the son of the prophet in 2 Kings 6. This week, give them all to God. Ask and allow Him provide for you. Worship Him as He meets with you. He is worthy! He is waiting!


16 responses to “Do Your Axe Heads Float?

  1. God has certainly caused many of my axe heads to come to the surface. There are countless little things that God has granted me, things that I have only spoken in my heart. I am amazed that He would even care about some of this stuff. I think that these things give us encouragement while we’re waiting for Him to take care of the bigger things in our life.

  2. that story also reminds me of salvation. A stick sinks and an axehead floats.

    Messiah comes down. I go up.

  3. Kelly P. Simmon

    Nice, Heath. This brought me to think about all of the “axeheads” that God makes float that we don’t take to Him. Are we aware of those? Do we make ourselves aware? Do we just chalk it up to “I’m so glad things worked out” or do we truly recognize it for God at work in our lives “working all things our for good”? I’m teaching John to my college girls right now. I was made aware of the lame man in John 5 that Jesus healed. The man accepted the miracle gladly but we’re never really told if he accepted Christ. How often are we like that? We accept what He is doing in our lives without ever really seeing it for what it is-God at work-or giving Him the glory and praise He deserves for it?

  4. Heath, regarding the little things in life: I read a story of a man on safari in Africa who heard a lion roaring outside his tent one night. Quickly he prayed and asked God to take care of the lion and God frightened the lion away. The man settled back to continuje his night’s rest, but was then disturbed by a mosquito buzzing around his head. He began to swat at the mosquito and kept it up and lost an entire night’s sleep. If God could take care of a lion, surely He could take care of a mosquito. Those little axe heads are just as important to God as major issues. We often “have not because we ask not.”

  5. Heath, you do such a good job of reminding us, as believers, the simple stuff that is so important to know. Thank you. Bret Beshey

  6. Pingback: Do Your Axe Heads Float? « Knowing God through His Word…Day by Day

  7. God bless you all for sharing this marvellous miracle in the bible which I like .God indeed float so many axes head in my life and you also reminded me of the nation of Isreal whom the Lord brought out of Egypt and later who were scatterd all over the world.With God nothing is impossible,so I better be firm in my faith and keep on trusting Him always.Thank you.

  8. If only more people would hear this!

  9. If I had a dime for every time I came here.. Amazing writing!

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  12. My wife and I have been struggling to keep a child care business afloat for years. We knew God had brought us into this. The story of the axe head had been in her mind fir months but she didn’t know why or what it meant. Today, after we prayed for God’s direction, the story came to mind again. I looked on the web for commentary on this passage and we found this message. We wept as we read it. It was our story. Today, as a symbol of our trust in God, we placed a stick in the child care building as a marker of God’s blessing and care. Thank you for delivering such a great message at a time we so needed.

  13. Pingback: Do your axe heads float? « Knowing God through His Word…Day by Day

  14. seriously? this is what you think this prophecy is about? Do you not understand at all what the axehead represents? why it was just the head of the ax, and not the whole axe? wow.

    try this…..”the AXE is laid at the root of the tree”…..go from there. Search out the “secrets” of God.

  15. Pingback: Floating Axeheads? | Knowing God through His Word...Day by Day

  16. Mathew Geevarghese

    The stick represent Jesus Christ. The man lost his axe head, he still had the wooden handle in his hand. The prophet could have cast it into the water, but the prophet cut down a stick from a live tree. the live tree is Jesus. You and I were at the bottom of the water laying lifeless, Jesus the living stick cut down from the tree, by leaving the glory of God, came down and lifted us and gave us eternal life.

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