Staying Sharp - Man as Provider

"Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up.” So, he reached out his hand and took it." - 2 Kings 6: 1-7 ESV
At first reading, this incident in the Bible might sound a little trivial. It’s only an axe head…isn’t it?
Little things matter, especially to the one who suffers the loss. The good news, men, is that God cares about the problems in our lives, even the little ones! Our small worries and concerns mean everything to Him simply because we mean everything to Him. From lost keys to a lost loved one, from problems at work to problems with our families, God knows, God sees, and God cares. This is why Peter tells us to cast “all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
There is something else worth noting in this account. It was an axe head that was lost and retrieved. This is an important tool that was created with a purpose and design. Unattached from its master, it was useless and lost. This story of the axe head has an illustration for our own lives. August Van Ryn wrote in his book Elijah & Elisha: “We may lose that sharp axe-head, the power of the Spirit for service, by disobedience, by want of separation, by neglect of the Bible, by neglect of communion, by lack of faith. If you have lost it, go back and look for it. You will find it where you lost it.”
I heard a story about a strong woodcutter who asked for a logging job back in the days before chainsaws. The foreman gave him an axe and showed him the area where he would work. The woodcutter was determined to do his best. On the first day, the woodcutter felled 18 trees. The woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring down 15 trees. On the third day, he tried even harder but could only manage 10 trees. Each day, he finished with fewer trees. He couldn’t understand what was happening. “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the foreman asked. “Sharpen? I’ve had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been too busy trying to cut trees.” A quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln says, “If I had nine hours to cut down a tree, I would spend six hours sharpening my axe.”
We need to prioritize keeping the axe sharp if we hope to be effective. Men, this matters much to us and those we must provide for. We must stay sharp in our walk and our study of God’s Word! We must stay connected to the God who leads and guides us each and every day! Only then can we be sharp and effective providers.
  • If God cares about the little things in your life, how are you dealing with the seemingly small problems you face? Are you faithfully giving them to God, or are you trying to handle them yourself?
  • How are you prioritizing the process of sharpening your walk with God? What are you doing on purpose in order to stay sharp? How are you building into the character of your children and grandchildren that will assist them in staying sharp in their walk with the Lord? 
  • Ask the Lord to show you how important preparation is when it comes to your effectiveness and to show you ways to stay sharp in your walk with Him.