There’s a short little Bible story about a random ax head lost on the bottom of the muddy Jordan River. This story has some interesting depth to it. (Pun intended). Can God truly bring beauty out of a muddy mess, and bring sweet scent to the stench of death? Yes. Yes He can, and ONLY He can.
The Proverbial Ax Head
“They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!” The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.” – l Kings 6:4-7
In this story the ax head fell into the water and sunk to the bottom, and could not be retrieved. I see a few things in this story that has always made it feel significant to me personally. First of all, the panicked way the man said, “OH NO” when he recognized his great loss, then followed by the question as to where his ax head had disappeared! Next, God’s miraculous intervention of bringing the ax head up to the surface of the water, and then ending with the command to “pick it up yourself”. I can relate this story to my own personal life journey.
I feel like there was that one day; that first day when I officially lost my own ax head. Let’s just call it that. I lost my ax head. I would maybe just describe it more as the loss of my core identity or who I might have been. It got lost and buried, and I spent my life feeling like I had lost a major part of myself. Maybe in some essence, I WAS the ax head myself. I spent years faking it. So many years I spent not knowing who I really was. I got very good at projecting a version of myself that was very much an act. It was an honest act, because I didn’t know what I had actually lost. Bear with me here. If YOU can get this, it may help you also.
Cleaning Off The Mud
I had to dig into my past. It was time to relive some painful moments in order to keep on going deeper. I hyperventilated at times. Other times I felt suicidal. I wanted to stop trying to remember. But I couldn’t. That ax head called to me. It was me calling to, me. Deep calling to deep maybe? The discarded part of me had sunk to the bottom.
I crawled and clawed my way back through the hallways of time. Never alone. I faced each and every demon along the way. Never alone. Thye called for my destruction. I heard the lies. The lies tinged with truth caused me to pause. I stopped momentarily along the way as I just sought refuge. Never alone. It was like the smell was beckoning me on. Jesus walked me to the deep mud hole. It was time to find what once was lost. ME! “I once was lost, but now I’m found.” (Luke 15:10)
As I attentively heeded to the cry of my own soul, I was able to go back to where I lost much of myself. God walked me there and miraculously allowed me to see what was lost and retrieve it. I kinda feel like Humpty Dumpty if he HAD been able to be put back together again! I could see it, feel it, and I got it.
In order to be free, I needed all the truth. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:31) “In order for something to be set free, it must have already been in existence.”
“So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” (John 8:36) Free. I am free to be. Free to be ME. I am free indeed!
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