Ecclesiastes 11:1 explains, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth."
I don't know why this hasn't come alive for me before. It has both spiritual meaning for me as well as material meaning.
Spiritually, I guess I have been doing it for most of my life, except for my 17 alcoholic years in my 20s and 30s. Still, at 73, that means I've been doing it for over 50 years.
Part if it has been in my prayers for others. We do not often get to see the results of our prayers for them. Still, our many daily blessings must surely be part of the return on that investment. Daily, if we have food to eat, a roof over our heads, clothing, and yes, even friends, we need to remember that these are blessings. I do this every night when I climb into bed. The last thoughts I have before I doze off are counting the day's blessings.
Another way that I feel is spiritual is in the charity crafting that our small group performs. We do not put out lots of money. We invest our time and our skills and our love. We use leftover supplies. Sometimes we are blessed with donated yarn. Sometimes one or two gals make an incredible "find" of yarn at a thrift store. But we get great joy out of giving to the needy from this small effort on our part.
Materially, I give away a lot of things that I no longer need to local charity pickups and to others on Freecycle. I realize that, given time, I could probably sell much of it on either Craigslist or eBay. But some of these things are just not worth that effort. It feels good to get them into the hands of those who need them.
My real epiphany, however, came when I realized I have not been using this biblical advice when it comes to generating enough income to keep our heads above water. I pray and pray for an answer to our financial needs. And I see now that I have been overlooking the obvious.
I have an online shop for my handmade things, my patterns, and some printable items. But I am not marketing-oriented. I keep telling people that I am not "good" at marketing. Now I am beginning to realize that I should just "talk" about what I do and what I make and what I have to offer, and let the Lord take care of the marketing.
But he can't help me with that unless I help, a little, myself. I have a tendency to think of talking about my saleable projects as being pushy or selfish. But there are words in the bible about not hiding our light under a bushel and not burying our talents in the ground.
So I plan to cast my bread upon the waters, daily, in little blurbs and posts on my blog and on Facebook. Nothing heavy - nothing pushy - just matter of fact statements. And I'll let him take care of getting it noticed by those who need what I have.
Unlike Scarlett in Gone with the Wind, I cannot just rely on the kindness of others - I must reach the larger market. And I must trust to his own good timing.
Sweet Jesus, please help me in this new path I take. You yourself told stories about not hiding our light or not burying our talents. I trust you now to guide me in my words that I might help the Father to help me generate what our household needs, financially. Not my will, but the Father's, be done.