Learn to Cast Your Bread upon the Waters
Learn to Cast Your Bread upon the Waters
Amber Ginter iBelieve Contributing Writer
To “cast your bread upon the waters,” means to trust God amid every circumstance, and pressing into those set-backs as opportunities. In a metaphorical sense, it means choosing to be generous, and leaning into the blessings God has given you. Today, when I doubt, He still provides.
In April of 2019, I began suffering from an unknown illness. Later diagnosed as IBS-C, a tortured colon, and suspected endometriosis, these ailments were triggered by stress and an inherited genetic makeup of generalized anxiety. What puzzled me, however, was why now?
For most of my childhood and young adulthood, I've known what it means to be an anxious person. I don't remember high school memories, making friends, or competing in a dance competition without some perilous fear.
Over the past two years, however, my physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and intellectual health have plummeted. Crying in agony on the floor in my bathroom, I've tasted pain. Holding tightly to my boyfriend's hand, I've remarked that I'm sorry I can't be normal. With bitter tears in my eyes, I've hated the girl I now am, wishing to go back to who I once was. And in essence, I've lost a part of that woman.
Now two years later, I'm starting to grasp how to handle these things that have happened. Through counseling, the removal of medication, the addition of vitamin supplements, and trial and error, my health is starting to return to what it once was. I am tasting hints of redemption. I cannot always see the days without pain, but I know they are there.
Because as much as it has sucked, I think I've finally come to realize the answer to why now and why me is not why but when.
Christ's Call to Us through Our Tears
In the Scriptures, it is clear that Jesus Christ and His Disciples suffered greatly. While some had a thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12), others were fallen to personal deceptions of the truth. We have all been called to suffer in a sense, and while it isn't always physical, I know that the Lord has and will continue to use what has happened to glorify His Kingdom.
I do not believe that God wishes for me or anyone else in this world to face sickness and pain. Still, I think that what the enemy (whether that be Satan or the consequences of our choices) intended for evil, God can redeem for His glory (Genesis 50:19-21, Romans 12:19-21).
During this illness, I've often faced just as much physical pain as mental and emotional. Tears have become my best friend, and I am convinced that I have married my heating pad. Nevertheless, Christ within me has called me to "cast my bread upon the waters.”
What Does it Mean to "Cast Your Bread upon the Waters"?
To “cast your bread upon the waters,” means to trust God amid every circumstance, and pressing into those set-backs as opportunities. In a metaphorical sense, it means choosing to be generous, and leaning into the blessings God has given you, even when they feel far from favored. Do what you can with what you have been given, and much more will be given.
Though it hasn't been easy, a Professor once told me years ago that the best way to let God work in your life and to see the fruitful results is to do precisely that. And so, I do not find it coincidental that amid my suffering, I've not only written a book I'm in the process of publishing, but I've also been given numerous opportunities that I've prayed for years to happen.
Amid pain that runs bone-deep, I've asked God to restore all that's been broken and make something of me. Even at times when I lost hope and didn't see how He'd use me, He rewarded those prayers, hopes, dreams, and ambitions that I cast at His feet. Today, when I doubt, He still provides.
As I continue to recover, I want to ask for two things:
1) that you pray for those who are suffering and
2) that as they have the hope to cast their bread upon the waters, the Lord will continue to be faithful in providing for them however He sees fit. Help encourage them to continue to launch even when all seems lost.
I am not 100% healed at this point in my life, but I am loved by a man who died to redeem me from everything I might face on this temporary earth until He comes.
In a sense, I know what it's like to be satisfied and still long for more (Philippians 4). But because I am human, I still feel the frailty of human pain and emotions every day.
Confidence in Christ tells me that my redemption is coming, but I am no longer the girl I once was, and that's okay. And why?
Because now that I've tasted pain, I'm stronger than before. I may feel weak, but the Lord is my strength (Psalm 28:7-8). I may have diagnoses, but I am not my diagnosis.
Open Your Hands to God's Purposes
The Lord will heal, and by His power, we will accomplish whatever He has set for our lives despite the circumstances and tribulations we may face along the way.
I believe this for me, and I believe it for you.
Cast your bread upon the waters, friends. It's time you do. Because even if it seems unlikely, that's when our God is in the business of doing the miraculous.
"Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” (Ecclesiastes 11: 1-5, ESV)
At the start and end of each day, sow your seed, for you never know what the Lord will use for His purposes and glory.
Pray with me:
While I am in the trenches of this battle, Lord, remind me to believe and cast my bread upon the waters. It may look unlikely and like all sides surround me, but we will find it after many days. I will not merely observe and pray for the things I want to happen, but I will believe that you can and will provide as you see fit. Help my unbelief.
Release peace to my finite mind that does not understand your ways and remind me that you will fulfill your purpose for me no matter what happens. In the morning, Lord, even when doubt comes, I will sow my seed. I will fight the good fight, realizing that though my days here on earth are limited, you call me to a higher eternity. Heal my body and mind physically, socially, mentally, emotionally, and socially. You are so good, Lord.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/valio84sl
Amber Ginter is an aspiring 25-year-old writer that currently works as an English teacher in Chillicothe, Ohio, and has a passionate desire to impact the world for Jesus through her love for writing, aesthetics, health/fitness, and ministry. Hoping to become a full-time freelancer, Amber seeks to proclaim her love for Christ and the Gospel through her writing, aesthetic ministry team (Aisthitikós Joy Ministries), and volunteer roles. She is also the author of The Story I've Never Told, which is currently in the publishing process. Amber has freelanced for Daughter of Delight, Kallos, Anchored Passion, Crosswalk, No Small Life, Darling Magazine, Called Christian Writers, Southern Ohio Today News, The Rebelution, Ohio Christian University, and The Circleville Herald. Visit her website at amberginter.com.
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