Keep throwing sticks in the water

Imagine living in 848 BC. You have no modern conveniences, and you are working hard out in the heat of the day to build a home. In order to build this dwelling place, you had to borrow an ax to cut down trees, one-by-one, to provide safety and shelter.

In 2 Kings 6 the sons of the prophets and Elisha, a prophet, went to build a larger dwelling place. One of the men borrowed an ax, and, while diligently working, the cutting edge flew into the water. The man went to Elisha in a panic, crying out, “The ax was borrowed!”.

Several life applications to notice in the beginning of this story.

  • A movement forward and a risk was taken to leave their current station and seek an opportunity
  • They were working hard and doing good things
  • The man immediately went to Elisha when trouble hit

Are you following this pattern? It’s a mixed bag of thoughts and emotion. I read this story in God’s Word and in FerVent, by Priscilla Shirer.

Reality of our circumstances can blind us to the purpose and opportunity. I read this story and prayed for God to send me an Elisha. You are like me; I’m sure of it! It’s universal.  You move forward with hope, seeking, and risking, only to find yourself with your cutting edge thrown into the depths of chaos and confusion.

Did you notice I missed the whole point of the story?  It was not until I spoke with my mother, as she witnessed to me, and re-read my book, did I literally notice my ignorance! I have 24/7 access to an “Elisha”.

My prayer warriors, Tom and Louise

Let’s finish the story.

This desperate, confused, tired, hard-working man experienced a miracle.

Then the man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, the man of God cut a stick, threw it there, and made the iron float.

Then he said, “Pick it up.” So he reached out and took it.  2 Kings 6: 6-7

You can’t fathom this as a miracle unless you consider the historical context and the back story.  Although scripture does not give details of all the conversations and thoughts of the people, we can place ourselves there and imagine. This man could not run up to Lowe’s.  This was critical.  He had a vision–a dream–and his hard work, in the moment, was not paying off.

If you are here in your journey–a place of hard work with your cutting edge in the bottom of the river, seek God.

It’s that simple and refreshing.

Don’t stop working hard. Maybe God will call you to adjust, shift, or change your focus, but don’t stop because you feel defeated by someone or something.

Don’t stop believing in miracles and the intimate details of your life belonging to God, not man.

Don’t let the reality of your situation defeat you.

Listen to me.  Nothing–nothing!–is too far gone that your God cannot resurrect it.  Even your cutting edge. So go to Him to get it back.  Don’t try to regain it yourself. Don’t set your hopes on other people or circumstances to fuse it back into the fiber of your being.  Trust it into God’s care.  Only His miraculous work can make it bubble back up to the surface where it belongs.  And He is more than willing to do it. (Shirer, 2015, p. 34)

Focus on God’s Word and His leading.  This focus will cause you to move, shift, and possibly say, “no” to some patterns and life choices. For every “yes”, we also say “no”. Believe that God will provide not only for your physical needs, but also for your emotional needs and the needs of others.

My mom’s last words to me as I hung up to figure out parking in the city–

“Keep throwing sticks in the water.”  Good advice.

axe head





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