Thursday, November 12, 2009

Of Ax Heads and Work Stress

I try to leave work completely out of this blog. I prefer to make this a place of faith, family and laughter - a sanctuary, if you will. But realistically, I spend 40 hours a week there, and it is bound to creep in here and there. Sometimes the stress becomes overwhelming and clings to me no matter where I go or who I am with.
So, I wanted to share an account from the Bible, that has meant a lot to me over the past several weeks. I first heard this story as a young teenager, and I have to admit, I didn't see what the big deal was at the time.
2 Kings 6
1 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us.
2 Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.”
So he answered, “Go.”
3 Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.”
And he answered, “I will go.”
4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.
5 But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed.”
6 So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float.
7 Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
Here, we have some men, working at a menial task - pretty much every day stuff. They needed to expand their living quarters, and with Elisha's blessing they set out to cut down some trees. Everything was fine until an ax head fell into the water - and sunk along with the heart of the man who borrowed it. We hear him cry, "Alas, master! For it was borrowed." How many times have you felt just like that? A deadline gets missed. The car gets into a fender bender. A check gets accidentally put through the shredder ( a story for another day, perhaps). Our hearts cry, "Nooooooooo. Please noooooooo." or "Please don't let this be happening." That awful feeling of panic sets in.
What do we see happening next? Elisha scolding the man for being irresponsible? Elisha shrugging his shoulders and saying "Deal with it."? No. He asks, "Where did it fall?" He cared. God cared. God cared about that man's anguish over the lost ax head. He caused it to float so that it could be retrieved easily. Problem solved. God cares about us when the deadline gets missed, the car gets a dent and when we do something careless like shred our paycheck. We have a great big God, big enough to care about the minute details of our lives.
And aren't we lucky that He does?

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

A beautiful post, April. I forgot about this Bible story. And you've applied it to your life so well.

But tell me, did you really shred your paycheck? Oh no!

Yes, life has it's stresses. And God does care. We are blessed indeed. :~D