Cast your bread on the waters;
for you shall find it after many days.
Ecclesiastes 11:1 (MKJV)
We’ve all heard it is more blessed to give than to receive. I know for a fact that we cannot out-give God. He has been proved our Sustainer time and again, and He is sustaining us now. Both bode well for our future. I doubt there is one reader who would attest otherwise whose faith is lodged in Him.
When Solomon wrote the wisdom book of Ecclesiastes, he spoke to issues of life that affect us all regardless of the age or generation that has read his compiled wisdom.
He understood that the matter of leading with your life begins in your heart.
He used commonplace things to frame the matter at hand, for we don’t lead with what we don’t have in our hand.
What is more common in every life in every home in every nation than a loaf of bread?
‘Cast your bread on the waters…’
In Bible times, the admonition of Solomon to cast one’s bread on the waters alluded to the act of sowing rice – either in muddy ground or in water – where it would be trampled into the soil by the feet of cattle. In the trampling the rice seed would take root, grow, and … surprise! Produce a plentiful harvest after many days. (The principle of not being able to out-give God).
While it would be easy to object to sowing it on one hand, or carelessly toss it to the wind on the other, one thing is certain for the one who casts their bread from a heart of faith. The Lord rewards that heart.
Whether He chooses to reward by His own hand or through the hands of men, the return is sure. It may be slow in coming, but it will come. When it does, it will show up with increase.
One never sows a single seed to reap a single blade. God can use a loaf of bread to feed multitudes.
There is something about the act of giving from the heart that warms the soul and taxes the body.
Giving – or ‘casting your bread on the waters’ – engages the inner, the outer, and the in-between of who we are and what we have been allotted by the hand and grace of God. Blessedly, God takes note.
A while back my counselor husband opened in the day’s mail a small envelope from a former client. It contained a handwritten note expressing gratitude for the impact his counseling had made in their life.
That’s not unusual as some will express thanks with their enclosed payment. We appreciate their appreciation – similar to how Jesus must have felt when one of the ten cleansed lepers came back and personally thanked Him for healing them.
But this note was different. This was a ‘bread on the waters’ moment. He had worked with this client several years ago and had no communication with them since that time. This too is not unusual in that the majority come and go. Most of the time we don’t get to enjoy Paul Harvey’s ‘the rest of the story.’
It was a tender moment for his counselor’s heart. For all the ‘bread’ he willingly casts on the waters of many counseling relationships, the Lord used that note to reaffirm His call of Wayne to do what he does. That is not the only such note he has received, though the length of those ‘many days’ carried weight.
‘…for you shall find it after many days.’
God takes note of faithfulness. At His own discretion and timing He encourages one’s heart with finding that cast bread ‘…after many days’. With increase. Because that’s how He works.
Some of you may find yourself in the ‘still waiting to find it’ phase of some aspect of bread you have cast on the waters. I know I am.
The very nature of Solomon’s wise admonition indicates a need for patience, perseverance, doing what is before you to do, and continuing to give in unselfish obedience by faith in what you cannot yet see.
It may feel like the cattle have been trampling your sown seed, but take heart. It’s taking root.
If you’ve sown in several places, be encouraged and don’t doubt. Remember how things develop. Each sowing is in its own cycle of rooting, growing or harvest-ready.
I’ve no doubt many of you can testify to similar stories of casting your bread on the waters and finding it again after many days, having grown.
Perhaps you’ve sown but are still waiting. Your act of obedience may encourage others to risk sowing.
In either case, you’re invited to share by scrolling down to the comments section below.
It would do Solomon’s heart good. But since he’s not here, it will do good to the hearts that are! Please take a moment to ‘cast your bread’ of faith and encouragement … and thank you.
Photo credit: Unsplash free image │ by David Aler