2 Kings 6:5 – But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
Have you ever borrowed something from someone and lost it or damaged it? As soon as it happens you feel sick about it and hope the person will understand. This young man felt the same way. He had borrowed an axe so he could help with the building project but the axe head slipped off the handle, and just like that, it was gone.
We are here to serve and glorify God (Rev. 4:11). That is why God made us. If we miss the purpose for our existence we will be miserable. Joy comes in selfless service (Luke 17:7-10).
Everything we have is borrowed from God. Axe heads were hard to come by in that day. I’m sure many other men had borrowed axes. If we are going to serve God we must do it with the tools He gives us. “What hast thou that thou didst not receive?” Paul asked the Corinthians (1 Cor. 4:7). John the Baptist said, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27). God gives us time and He gives us talents. Both are to be used for Him for His purposes.
If we are not careful we can lose what we have. The man was busy chopping away but he became careless and didn’t notice that the axe head was slipping off the handle. He just took for granted that it would always be there no matter what.
The cross of Christ can restore what we lose. Upon the man’s cry of desperation, he went back to where he lost it and Elisha put a stick (a type of the cross) in the water and “the iron did swim” (vs. 6). The man still had one more decision to make. He had to reach out and take the axe. Have you lost an axe head? You must be willing to reach out and grab it. Remember the longer it stays in the water the more it will rust.