Friday, August 6, 2021


Elisha was a great prophet following in the footsteps of Elijah. He even had students to teach. In 2 Kings 2:1-7 we read a strange and wonderful account of the floating iron axhead. The photo is this essay, taken by my cousin Douglas F. Frank, a landscape photographer in the steps of Ansel Adams, depicts what appears to be a floating tree trunk.

In the Old Testament story we read of Elisha going with his students to the Jordan River to cut wooed to build a seminary dormitory for the students. They borrow an ax from a poor farmer to do the work. But, alas, the axhead falls into the river. There is much consternation from the student who borrowed the ax as it was very valuable and he has no money. The prophet asks where it fell and takes a stick throwing it in the river. Pretty strange so far. But then, the axhead floats up and attaches to the stick allowing him to pull it out to save the day. This is the legend of which Scripture is made. No, it is much more. It is a miraculous telling with spiritual meaning.

This historical narrative fits in with others like the feeding of the 5,000 or Peter walking on water. In these miracles, God provides out of seemingly nothing but His power overcoming the laws of nature. Nature or Mother Nature as you hear on the news and weather every day is God, not some fairy nymph in the woods. He calms storms and walks on water because He is God and is sovereign over all and can control all.  Many find these as cute bedtime stories, perhaps true, but much more. They are the true accounts of history that are not legend but of the power of God to provide in times of struggle and crisis. He does miraculous things that we may see His goodness and glory.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct or make smooth your paths.”  Note that this is a conditional promise of God. We must first totally trust God in all things. This is terribly difficult for humans because we want to control and fear being out of control. This is a wonderful paradox of life, for we were and are never in control. God is in control working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called by His purpose as Romans 8:28 tells us. God is for us and wants to provide, if we will trust Him even in crisis. Yes, we have self-will or free will, but God has purpose and lessons to learn in every day we walk this earth.

For me this continues to be a learning process. God has miraculously healed me from perilous illness twice. His Spirit has entered me and made me new and brought much greater clarity to my life in His hands. He has embraced me so that I know my loving Father intimately.  Yes, He has raised my axhead. He is risen from the grave and has conquered death, even on a cross. He demonstrated His love for us in that while we still sinners, He died for us (Romans 3:23). Be alert and watch for God’s working in and through your life wherever you go.

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