No Bread to Give
“Gideon…exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit…said…‘Give my troops some bread; they are worn out’… ‘Why should we give bread to your troops?’ Judges 8:4, 6.
Gideon came upon the city of Succoth and requested food for his weary men. Although the pursuit wasn’t over the troops were totally depleted of energy, nourishment and stamina. The battle was far from complete, but they needed to refuel to finish the task at hand. And, what did their fellow countrymen do? They refused to feel compassion for the needs of others. They placed their own needs and agenda ahead of those who were in need. ‘In withholding assistance [and compassion] they were passively siding with the enemy and disavowing their brotherly responsibility.’ Gideon, p. 138.
We have all been there…feeling entitled to our own agenda and challenges, passively saying ‘No bread to give.’ We see those who need our compassion, but because of our own issues we say, ‘No bread to give.’ We disagree with the way others live their lives so when they reach out to us we say, ‘No bread for you.’ When we withhold bread from others we withhold the Bread of life. Bread was meant to be shared as Christ broke his body for each of us. It is not up to us to determine who is worthy of the Bread.
On the other side of this coin are times when we are the depleted ones. Each of us will experience pursuits that leave us completely weary and depleted requiring the bread of others. We must be careful not to reach out to Succoth…people who are unwilling to share their compassion or time. We cannot spend mental energy on who hasn’t been there for us, but must reach out to receive from those who have the heart of God. We are going to experience times when we are tapped out emotionally, mentally or physically. The ultimate Bread is the sustaining Bread of life in Christ Jesus. In our lack we experience his excess. We must keep our eyes on the goal up ahead while we pursue our resolution in any situation. ‘Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ Phil 3:13-14.
Great advice: forgetting the past that wounded us and reaching towards the spiritual destinies that were meant for us.