Have you ever been at the place in which it seems things are not going well for you at all?
There is not necessarily anything unusual about that. We all go through periods where it seems as if everything is going wrong. But, what if these periods become the new “norm?” Instead of a period of challenges, life becomes a challenge, full of road blocks that don’t seem to move? Have you ever felt like you are “off track?”
When you get “off track”, it is often worthwhile to go back in your mind to the place where it seems like everything changed – where the train “jumped the track”, so to speak. Going back in your mind to that place can often reveal an event that may have had a dramatic effect upon you – so much so,that your life changed course and has been worse ever since. As you remember these events, it may be easy to identify changes in your circumstances that made things harder. But, a pattern of “worse” may be more than a product of a changed circumstance.
Sometimes, things get worse not because of the event itself but because of what we believed about life or ourselves or God after the effects of the event. Did our patterns of belief become more cynical, negative, doubtful? In some instances, the pattern that we are currently in could have come about because of a mistake we made during the challenge of that period.
Did I treat someone badly during that time? Did I ever take the time to get that part of my life right or have I just tried to ignore what I knew I was supposed to do during that time? What about my relationship with God? Did I knowingly decide to ignore a clear instruction from the Bible during that period? Did I justify that somehow when I shouldn’t have?
Could something like this be contributing to my current state of life?
2 Kings 6 tells a simple story of Elisha and a group of his young students. They had outgrown the space where they lived and met and had decided to build a bigger place. Knowing that timber grows close to water, they go to the Jordan River to gather wood to build the new place. While cutting down timber, a young man’s axe loses the axe head and the head falls into the river. The young man is distraught and says, “Oh no master, the axe is not mine. It was borrowed!”
Elisha asks the man a very simple question that makes a lot of sense:
“Where did it fall?”
The young man showed Elijah the place it fell and Elijah miraculously made the axe head float to the surface. Then, Elijah told the young man:
“Pick it up for yourself”
So simple, but a great truth is found here.
Many folks feel as if they are no longer on the “cutting edge” of life. In other words, they sense that their life is no longer producing fruit, but is going downhill or “on hold”.
It is often good to ask yourself, “Where did I lose the “axe head” or where did the descent in my life begin? Go back to that event and ask God to make the thing that caused you to lose your edge to float to the surface of your understanding. Then, remember the instructions Elisha gave the young man:
“Pick it up for yourself”
We can’t change traumatic events once they are history but we can knowingly ask God to reveal if we did something that put us “on hold” or if our faith was negatively affected during that period. If God causes something to float to the surface, you must take the initiative to take responsibility for either correcting what you did wrong or for facing the difficult questions birthed by that event instead of allowing the negativity to continue to direct your life.
Hope this simple story helps. I want you to be on the “cutting edge” of what God is doing. Our life is “borrowed” from God and so we must find the place the axe head disappeared and be intentional about recovering it.
God bless you and help you as you recover what you’ve lost.