Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.
— Ecclesiastes 11:1
Cast your bread upon the water? Really? Sounds like pretty dumb advice, unless you’re looking to feed the ducks. Then, to finish the statement with, “for you will find it after many days.” Yuck! Who would want to? Is there anything anything appealing about a soggy slice of bread?
At face value, this proverb is absurd. To the modern reader, it makes no sense at all. What Solomon knew that you may not know, however, is this: in ancient times, when rivers would overflow their banks, the farmers would walk through the flooded fields sowing their seeds directly into the water. The seeds would fall to the bottom and, after the waters would subside, the grain would grow. Many times, a bumper crop would be in store for the wise farmer.
When life is flooded with hardship, and you are at the last notch tightening your belt, giving to the kingdom of God may not be high on your list of priorities. In fact, applying God’s management principals and investment strategies to your money in general may sound crazy to those looking to the ticker tape on Wall Street. Yes, the wisdom of Charles Schwab, Edward Jones and Merrill Lynch is quite different from that of Solomon’s. But go ahead, “cast your bread upon the waters” of faith. It will not come back to you until you first let it go.
God has more in store for his children who will invest in his kingdom. We tend to horde, to put it away for a rainy day, store up in case of disaster, but God says to let it go with open hands. The real disaster is being more concerned for a need that may never be than for a need we know is.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
— Winston Churchill