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  • Writer's pictureEli Schnell

The Axe

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

The axe cut cleanly into the trunk of the massive oak tree, and with each consecutive chop the axe thought to itself, “My, how sharp I am, how well balanced, why, I’m even mightier than this great oak! I don’t need this lumberjack at all!” And with that, the axe flew from the lumberjack’s hands far out into the forest, and though the lumberjack searched night and day, he could not find the axe.

The axe remembered fondly the time it spent soaring through the air, not knowing where it might land, all the while pitying whatever tree it would find nearest. The axe landed excitedly, for next to it, only inches away, was a tree more massive than any it had encountered in all its swings.

Eager to start the work, the axe prepared for a mighty chop. But, to the axe’s surprise, it could not move at all. The axe tried again, hoping that perhaps the first failure was a fluke. Nothing. The axe tried again and again, and with each consecutive failure, its surprise changed into horror. The axe began realizing it was not as strong as it had once thought. The axe was not so well balanced that it could swing itself, nor the blade so sharp that it could cut without momentum. And so, the axe sat, through rain and snow, silently rotting and mourning its foolishness.

You see it was the lumberjack, not the axe, in whom the power resided. Unfortunately for the axe, it realized the truth far too late. Some years later, a small child came across the old broken pieces that had been the mighty axe. Happily, he gathered them in his arms, overjoyed to have found some kindling for the fire.

“Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.” -Isaiah 10:15

It is a sad day when any person says to themself, “I do not need God!” Those who maintain that view will soon find that they have become one with the axe: kindling for the eternal fires of hell. Every person must always remember: We are tools in the mighty hands of God, and as sharp and well balanced as we may be, we need His strength and wisdom to move successfully through this life and into eternity with Him.

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