Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters. . . Withhold Not Your Hand

Wise King Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. . . . In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand, for you do not know which will prosper.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2, 6)

From my research, this admonition is derived from a Middle Eastern custom of sowing seed. The farmers would cast seed from boats floating on rain-engorged rivers, onto the marshy ground. When the waters receded, the grain would fall to the soil and spring up.

So this scripture, in context, is a discussion of benevolence. The encouragement here is to be a benevolent person, because one never knows when he might be in need of benevolence himself.

I’ve bumped into a lot, A LOT, of discussion amongst other writers out there about generosity lately. One of my favorite bloggers, Jeff Goins ( talks about this subject all the time. He was a virtual unknown once, trying to churn out his little blog, keeping at the difficult craft of writing, trying to get noticed, when he stumbled upon this truth:

 Be willing to give away what you have to others, even strangers, even/especially if you aren’t promised anything in return.

Once the Lord planted this truth in Jeff’s heart and he simply obeyed, God started doing things in his life and blessing his ministry of words. Much more than Jeff Goins the writer could ever imagine!

There’s a caveat attached to this scripture, though: This concept is not to be viewed as a superstitious talisman. In other words, “If you do this, then you are guaranteed health, wealth, happiness in this life.” NO. It’s a call of simple obedience.

A response to God’s overwhelmingly abundant blessing of our lives.

To DO SOMETHING with the myriad opportunities He places in our paths, each and every day.

And there too, is the real rub. How many of us, even us Jesus-loving devout believers, will employ each and each opportunity God gives us to bless others? To trouble ourselves to go the extra mile, simply because God GIVES US A CHANCE?

I’m not talking about things costing dollars and cents (although it could). I’m speaking about giving those those little acts of thoughtfulness and kindness the Holy Spirit whispers to our heart.

A job referral. A word or letter of encouragement. An unexpected offer to help out. The gifting of  something into the hands of someone in need. To believers and nonbelievers alike.

But our sin nature, deep within, cries out: But what’s in it for ME? Why should I help so-and-so out, if it’s not going to profit me any?

We don’t look to bless others many times, because we are terribly focused on ourselves.

Our God tells us the opposite. We are to love others deeply. And show our love by our actions.

We are to love others, like HE LOVES US.  So. . . .do not withhold your hand. Do not keep back the blessing.

I’m here to say that God convicted me of this very thing a while back. And by His help and abundant grace, I am trying to live differently. Whenever God presents me a chance to bless someone, I try to be obedient. To follow through with a positive action. With a grateful and loving heart. To God’s glory—whatever the outcome.

I’ve seen tangible evidence where God has blessed me in return, but not always. But I’m not seeking the reward, but just wanting to be where Jesus wants me. In total obedience to Him.

So. . . will you cast your bread on the waters. . . for others? Will you not withhold your hand. . . to do good in someone’s life?

Let us know how this concept translates into your life if you already do this or decide to do this. . . we’d all love to share in your story!! And as always, may HE receive all the glory and praise!

Lookin’ up,





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