What begins as an exciting vision—with big plans, eager hands, and an exciting dream of what is to come can sometimes feel more like…
Swinging without an ax head (2 Kings 6:5) 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”
Literally meaning “it was begged” for. During the reign of King Saul, the Israelites had to go to the Philistines to get all their iron plows, sickles, and axes sharpened, and still after 200 years, iron was precious and the cost was steep. There were no extra resources in this vision, unlike when you are putting together something from Ikea. All of a sudden there is a disconnection between what the prophet has and what he needs. With the loss of the iron ax head, suddenly he was facing a debt he was unable to pay, he was staring into the dark water which probably felt like a black hole, he would be hit with a bone-crushing debt- no more being a prophet, it would be time to become a slave. An ax head, something that seemed so small, and yet without it the entire project comes to a standstill. The vision has devolved into a vexing problem.
I was reminded of the problem of disconnection just this week. I was on the phone with someone who had called for advice and so I listened, probably for 15 minutes, listening intently with ideas formulating in my head, and when they opened the floor, it was one of my finest moments, the words made sense, I was surprising myself, thoughts were crisp and flowing, for a minute, minute 15 it was like I was a Gatlin-gun of good ideas.I could have kept going but my phone started to vibrate…I had a call…It was the person I thought I was talking too all along. All the effort in the world wasn’t valuable whileI was disconnected. Think about how we start to live sometimes. We all know people who do all sorts of great things, filling their lives with activity, travel, romance and a bustling career, and when we are disconnected from the author of life, ultimately it is like talking with the person on the other end missing in action.
There are times where we all end up swinging without an ax head—where we’re staring into the black hole of sin—which promised clarity and provided cloudiness, and we get dull. We get worn down. We get disconnected. When you couldn’t shake off someone’s hurtful comments, or when you lost your position at work and felt like you lost your identity, when you started living in past victories instead of future attempts, when passion turned into a stale routine…faith turned to mere embers, love morphed into disregard. Hear me here; every time there is a disconnection between us and God, we lose our source of power and strength to connect to the world around us. Jesus made this clear in John 15:5-I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.