Reading: But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas master! For it was borrowed. 2 Kings 6:5

Building a larger school for the sons of the prophets was a massive undertaking for Elisha and the young men with him. Despite evident shortages there was no lack of zeal or enthusiasm for the work. 

The young man with the borrowed axe gave himself to the task of felling trees, both concerned and committed to the work at hand. However, as he laboured he was hindered for his axe head slipped from its shaft and fell into the murky waters of the Jordan. He had lost his cutting edge and nothing could disguise his predicament. As a result of his great loss, his work was brought to a premature end. The young man was deeply conscious of his situation and immediately cried out to his master. At once the man of God intervened. Elisha asked where it had fallen and when the place was identified, he took a branch and threw it into the water and the iron axe head swam to the surface. It was recovered and the work was resumed.

It is possible for an enthusiastic, energetic, and effective Christian worker to lose his cutting edge for God. Busyness in God’s work has its dangers. Closet prayer can be neglected. Private and profitable meditation on God’s word can be set to the side as other things are pursued. Weariness and discouragements can develop. A bitter and critical spirit against other believers can emerge, and the physical and mental faculties can be stretched to the breaking point. We can lose our cutting edge. The good news is that it can be recovered. The young man stopped, confessed his situation honestly, sought the help of the man of God, identified where the loss had taken place, and trusted that it could be regained. These steps are vital for the Christian. If this is your situation, confess it and cry to Christ your Master for a full recovery.

“One of the miracles of the grace of God is what He is able to do with the torn nets of lives surrendered to Him.” G. B. Duncan

Taken from A Word in Season edited by Alan Cairns, 2010. Used by permission.