2 Kings 6:5-7 – As one of them [a student of Elisha's school of prophecy] was cutting down a tree, the iron axehead fell into the water. "Oh, 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.

In my continual quest to beat down my mountain of books by making notes and passing the books on to Christian Salvage Mission, I came across this quote by Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-1843):

    Every wise workman takes his tools away from the work from time to time that they may be ground and sharpened; so does the only-wise Jehovah take his ministers oftentimes away unto darkness and loneliness and trouble, that he may sharpen and prepare them for harder work in his service.

How that darkness and loneliness and trouble feels like Israel's 40 years of wandering in the wilderness! But think of that axe head as the Word, sharper than a two-edged sword in our lives, filling us with the Spirit and the Spirit's anointing and vision. That darkness, loneliness, and trouble (Oh my lord!) sits on us until we go back to where we first lost our vision (the axe head) and God provides what we need (instructs us into obedience so the axe head of our vision is restored).

When we lose the vision and presence of God in our life, that darkness cues us to search, with God's intervention, for what we have lost. If we go back to where we last remember we had it, back to where we remember God's voice, and begin again under divine instruction, we'll be glad we did.

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to seek Your face diligently every day. Without You we cannot find our way out of the desert of the soul, out of the darkness, loneliness, and trouble we feel. We know that the joy of our salvation is not just a feeling. Bring us into Your intimate presence, make us thirst for you more, and quicken the scriptures in our hearts day by day. Amen.

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About the author:

Janet Wiebe <ro_hicock@yahoo.ca>
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

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