Another thoughtful day as a result of our home school reading. =) This week we saw Elisha take over for Elijah, and during his stay with all the young prophets-in-training, we got to a story I remembered from when I was a kid but forgot the context of.
So one day, while all the young prophets are off in the woods so they might chop down enough wood to build new houses, an ax head flew off one of the shafts. Landed in the river. Kerplunk. The young man wielding it looked on with distress and cried, "Oh no! That was borrowed! Aaaaaaggghhhhh! Now what am I supposed to do??"
Now, I'll admit I don't know every nuance of the Law, but I suspect that the penalty for accidentally losing an ax head wasn't death or anything. ;-) But the guy was upset. He'd borrowed something, borrowed it for a noble cause, no doubt promising to return the tool in the same condition in which he'd gotten it. Which was certainly not at the bottom of the river.
Still, it's a little thing, isn't it? An ax head. Kind of akin to lost keys. Or a broken down car. Vital things, but not really life-and-death things. Yet seeing the young prophet's distress, Elisha picks up a stick, goes to the exact spot in the river where the ax had fallen, and tosses it in.
Up floated the ax head, as if it were made of wood.
When reading this to Xoe, this is where I stopped and said, "Now, what are axes made of?"
Me: "Does metal float?"
Xoe, laughing: "No, it sinks!"
Me: "And that's why this is a miracle."
Simple. Little. Wasn't it?
The more I thought about this "little" miracle, the more I realized it wasn't so little. Perhaps it wasn't as showy as parting the sea, or the river. Perhaps it wasn't as over-reaching as feeding thousands with a few loaves (Elisha did both of those just before this too). But it required rewriting the laws of physics. And you know, that's a pretty big deal. Making an ax head float . . . well, you might as well make the young prophet fly. Pretty much the same amount of miracle needed.
So I sat back, and I chewed on it. God, through Elisha, rewrote the laws of physics--for one lost tool.
And yet still people doubt that He cares, especially about the little things. Still people doubt what He can do. Still people will say, "Why didn't He just stop the ax head from flying off??" instead of looking at what He did do.
When I first heard this story, I couldn't have told you what "laws of physics" were, LOL. Sure, I knew metal didn't float, but mostly this story fell into the category of "Wow, isn't God nice?" in my little-kid mind. And He is. He is so, so nice. So good. So loving.
So much so that He'll do the impossible just to restore peace of mind to one who loves Him.
I'm going to be clinging to that ax head a lot. As a reminder of how far the Lord will go for the little things. As a reminder of how quick He often chooses to act. As a reminder of the "small" miracles that He does that we often probably don't even notice. But that require just as much miraculousness as the big ones.
With God, there really is no big or small. He doesn't weigh and measure like we do. I believe he sees a need, measures the faithfulness of the asker, not the task itself. And does what needs to be done.
Thank you, Lord, for caring on a scale I can't fathom. For the ax head as well as the Red Sea. Thank you for the big things you do to save lives and nations . . . and for the little things that let us get through each day.