The company of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.”
And he said, “Go.”
3 Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?”
“I will,” Elisha replied. 4 And he went with them.
They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”
6 The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. 7 “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.
A seemingly innocent story of a simple miracle, but I once heard profound parallels with this story and how to grow spiritually. The story begins with a problem. The company of prophets told Elisha that their meeting place was too small to accommodate them. Together they were committed to working to build a new place, each of them bringing materials. Elisha was planning to send them off, but they entreated Elisha to come with them as well, so he did. We are strong as we work together towards a common goal, as it is determined to be.
Another problem arose when an ax head fell into the water, and worse that it was borrowed and needed to be returned to its owner. Until this point, the company of prophets and Elisha were using their God-given intellect and muscle to implement their plan. Suddenly, solving the problem was beyond their capabilities. Ever had this happen to you? God so needs to be in the middle of what we do. Funny that it takes a problem to realize this truth!
Elisha, God’s representative, was able to make the iron ax head float. Then Elisha told the man to lift it out of the water. That reminds me that God is asking us to listen to his word, his guidance, his plans for us. When we obey, when we take action in line with what God wants for us, we give God the praise. So many times Jesus did the same thing – requesting some action from one who asked something of him. How do we demonstrate faith? What will we do today to show God our heart will obey?
God of love and mercy, you make amazing plans for us. You ask us to work together to accomplish your goals. You want to be in the middle of all we do. May all we do today be done as you wish for us. Keep us listening; keep us in line with your will. Let us give you all praise in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.