So what does 2 Kings 6:1-7 mean?
While some have proposed that Elisha merely used a stick to reach in and dig the iron out of the water by sticking the stick into the hole in the axe head, the text clearly says that's not what happened–he threw the stick in and made the iron float. This miracle of provision parallels a series of miracles performed by the prophet: In 2 Kings 4:1-5, Elisha multiplied oil for the widow of one of the sons of the prophets; in 2 Kings 4:38-41, Elisha cured a deadly stew that would have slain the prophets; in 2 Kings 4:42-44, in a miracle that foreshadows Jesus' feeding of the 5000, Elisha provided for one hundred of these men from 20 loaves and some barley grain. In contrast to Gehazi, who served himself after Naaman was healed, the man of God, Elisha, served by providing for those under his care. These accounts demonstrate the prophetic authority of Elisha–showing that he is a true prophet of the Lord, the one who can provide for the servants of God by the power of God.In this case, Elisha used a stick to make iron float. The power in each of these miracles lies not in the implement used–oil, flour, or loaves–but in the prophet, empowered by the Spirit of God. God is the chief actor in this story, using His prophet to minister to His people. In the darkest times, God is still acting in behalf of His people, working for them, working through them. The King James sums up the result of Elisha's miracle this way: “The iron did swim.” There's something picturesque about that–iron swimming. Because God is supernatural, He can act above nature. He's not bound by the laws of gravity.