TD Jakes - Reconcile, No One Escapes
And so Joseph does not look like he's been in a pit, and he has risen to a position that defies his background. He has not gone to Yale or Harvard, nor Princeton, he has not applied for his CPA, and yet he has taken over the accounting for a nation having just stepped out of a jail cell. God sends sudden change. I don't know who I'm talking to, but he said don't be afraid of sudden change, he can snap you in a place that doesn't line up with your resume, he can put you in a position of influence, that is a blessing, but is horrifying. Is there anybody in here that's ever been blessed and scared?
See, you have to have lived a little while to be blessed and scared, because blessed sounds better than it feels. It is possible to be blessed and be scared to death, it is possible to have anxiety at the most blessed moment in your life, because God is taking you up, but you wonder, "Am I enough to handle where you place me, and can I handle the demands that are placed on me? Because nothing in my background has prepared me for the level of vision that I have down on the inside. And Lord, I'm going, but I'm scared".
Who am I preaching to today, is there anybody in here that knows what it is to have mixed emotions, bittersweet situations? Somebody asked me the other day how I was feeling? I thought, "How much time do you have"? I'm happy, sad, glad, nervous, at the end of my rope, excited, can't wait to see what's next and scared to open my eyes. I'm walking forward but I'm clenching my fist, I'm a little bit excited, I'm a little bit petrified, I'm a little bit depressed and I'm a little bit excited to see what God is about to do next.
How you like that for schizophrenic and crazy and out my wits? And I'm a little bit bipolar, but I'm walking by faith, and not by sight, I'm walking by faith, and not by sight. I'm walking by faith, and not by sight, and I'm talking tough because the devil is listening to hear my conversation and so I don't want him to know that I'm walking and I'm scared to death, but I believe God. And so God sent a famine. The text really is very simple, I'm almost done, but it's really simple. The text is really about food, about favor and about famine, food, favor and famine, food, favor, and famine. There would not be any visitation from his brethren if they weren't hungry for food, it's not like they were looking for Joseph, they didn't come to find their brother, they were hungry and they were looking for.
Yeah, see, sometimes, God will create a hunger to shake you out of your comfort zone to get you to the place that you need to go in. Somebody holler, "I'm hungry". I wouldn't have tried it but I was hungry, I wouldn't have worked out but I was hungry, I wouldn't have stretched myself but I was hungry. God gives you hunger so that you don't sit there on your laurels and get comfortable in your situation, because you're hungry. Somebody say, "I'm hungry". That's why I read my Bible, because I was hungry, that's why I fell on my knees, because I was hungry, that's why I started calling on the Lord, because I was hungry, that's why I tried to pull myself up, because I was hungry. Because I realized that all you have to do to go down is let go, but going up is intentional, nobody climbs a tree by accident.
Many people fall out a tree by accident but nobody climbed up a tree by accident, you can only go up on purpose. Look at your neighbor and tell them, "I'm hungry". That means I might climb, I might jump, I might stand up, I might get on your nerves, I might shout on your pocketbook, I might stand on my head, I might upset you, I might get loud, I might get boisterous. I'm not crazy, I'm just hungry. I didn't pay all this money to come to Atlanta and try to impress you with my eyelashes, I'm hungry, I need something from the Lord, I need God to do something in my life. I didn't come down here to be the beauty queen of Atlanta, this girl is hungry. I wish I had 1,000 women that didn't care about being hungry. Joseph's brothers were hungry, so they came to make a transaction.
When you get hungry enough, even above relationship, you make transactions. When transactionists run into relationships, it is petrifying. If you want somebody to show out on you real bad, ask a transactionist for an emotion. They'll give you an action, because action is the root of transaction, but they won't give you a relationship, because all I want is your corn, I don't want you, I just want your corn. I give you some money, you give me some corn, I give you some money, you give me some corn, I give you some money, you give me some corn, it's a transaction. Some of you are frustrated right now because you're trying to have a relationship with somebody who is a transactionist.
Oh, y'all ain't gonna talk to me. I thought y'all liked me, but y'all not gonna talk to me right now. And when you are a relationist and you are involved with a transactionist, you end up in an argument because they don't even understand what you're asking for, because you're hungry for a relationship and they're hungry for transaction. And they figure that if they give you the corn, you ought to be happy. So, Joseph's brothers, all of them have come to make a transaction, but Joseph wanted a relationship. Joseph, at the height of his career, living his best life, wearing his best clothes, in the best possible situation, riding in a chariot, whoa, right behind Pharaoh.
That's pretty high cotton for somebody who was in cellblock B, wearing number 74654321. And now you're sitting up here dressed up in finery and sitting up here next to the Pharaoh? But everything that Joseph had on was camouflage because Joseph never asked for a chariot or a horse or to be the prince of Egypt. Joseph never asked for anything but to be let out of prison, because what he really wanted he dare not utter. I can understand why Joseph would dislike his brothers and be in pain, he went down to Dothan to be with them, he loved them. That's the problem. And love is the craziest thing, love will not follow the rules. You can give love a GPS system and it will drive in the opposite direction. Can I get a witness in here?
Love will make you go to somebody you said you wasn't gonna never talk to again, love will make you yell at your child and then still say, "Come on, get something to eat". You know you hungry, sit on down, sit on down with your crazy self and get something to eat. Get something to eat, you're looking kind of frail in here, you need something to eat. Love will make you go down to the prison and put your hand on the glass, and say, "Mama love you. I might not like what you did, but I..." Joseph loved his brethren, and none of the gold of Pharaoh, and none of the tapestry and robes and garments that were bestowed upon him, and none of the horses or chariots were enough to take away the love he had for his brethren. And the pain of his life and the pain of many of our lives is to love someone who hurt us.
Here's what drove me to the text. So they're whispering because Joseph is giving them a hard time. Have you ever given a hard time to somebody you love? Have you ever been arguing with somebody that, if they got hit by a car, you'd lose your mind? Have you ever been mad and upset with somebody, but if I text you and told you they were dead, you'd run out of the room screaming? Then you have to ask yourself, "Why am I in in rage with somebody I'm in love with, and has my rage become more important than my love"?
I need Sheila E to come back and hit the drums and get you all back jumping again, because I'm starting to mess with you a little bit and you're getting a little bit uncomfortable. Because when you're angry with someone you love, it's a wrestling match and you can't tell who can win, and if your anger wins, your love loses, and you can't afford another loss. And now they're in, oh, don't you worry, I'm coming, and now they're in this situation where they are having a conversation.
And it is not Joseph that brought me to the text, it is not anything that Joseph said that brought me to the text, it was the conversation of his brothers, because I hear everybody talking about how Joseph suffered and I didn't like his brothers. I didn't like them no way, ain't like them no way, and one of the reasons I didn't like the brothers is because they were unfair and they were unjust, and they lied to their father and told him their brother was dead? You know you got to be a wicked, nasty individual to go back and tell your daddy your brother is dead. Who does that, over a coat? How carnal, how stupid, how reckless, how audacious, how out of control could you be?
I didn't like them, I didn't like them at all, they lied on him and he had only meant them well. And when you mean well and somebody treats you nasty, the wound is not just on the outside, the wound is on the inside. I want to talk to somebody who had a broken heart, who's had a bleeding heart, who's been weeping on the inside, who's been hurt in a place that his brothers didn't even seem to care about. And I didn't like them until I heard them talking, and when I heard them talking I started to realize that my point of view was not the only point of view, because I had always looked at it from Joseph's point of view, and I never knew that all of these 13 years they had been living with the guilt and the pain and the agony of what they had done.
And the Lord told me to tell you, and I don't know why and I don't know who it's for, he's saying that the person who hurt you didn't get away clean. I don't know why he told me to tell you that, but this was the very reason. There was a particular note, and I almost changed my whole subject over this one word, he said, "No one escapes". And all these years, you have been bitter and frustrated and hurt and wounded, because you thought you were the only one who got hurt. And you see them in their house with their new wife and their new life and their new situation, and somebody is working your job and somebody is driving your car and somebody is wearing your clothes, and it looks like you're the only victim in the story.
But God said, "No, no, no, no, 1,000 times no". No one escapes pain, not rich folks, not poor folks, not white folks, not brown folks, not light-skinned folk, not pretty folk, not ugly folk, not fat folk, not skinny folk, no one escapes pain. And so you don't get to be the only victim in the story, but the problem with you is that, when you tell the story, you're always the victim. And this one text alone nullifies the narrative that you have put inside of yourself, that while you were crying, they were partying, and while you were aching, they were painless. When Joseph heard them say, "Remember what we did to our brother? And maybe this evil has come upon us because God is angry with us over what we did with our brother".
I had to read it four or five times because I thought, "You mean, 13 years later, this is still in the front of your mind"? And God challenged me to preach to you that no one escaped in your story, nobody got away clean, nobody lived without agony, nobody lived without suffering, that the narrative that you told yourself, that you were the only victim in the story isn't true, that the other people were victims too. I know they did wrong and I know they hurt you and I know they let you down, but they have not been as happy as they acted like they were happy and they have not been as free as they acted like they were free. And God told me that if I would point it out to you, it would begin to heal some of the feeling of injustice that lives inside of you. Because, for 13 years, every night, these boys had to lay down in a bed of guilt and shame and agony, and they might have been in more jail than Joseph.
And I don't know who needs to hear that, but the Lord said you're not the only one who got hurt in your story, and all of these years you haven't been able to let it go because your books have never been reconciled. And because your books have never been reconciled, your account is out of balance and your emotions are unstable. And you will never get well, no matter how rich or how many degrees or how many cars you drive or how you fix your hair or how many times you get married again, you will never be free because you think that they got away clean. And God sent me here to Atlanta to tell you, every night you cried, they cried too, every night you did without, they did without too, every night you suffered, they suffered too, every night you were in agony, they were in agony too, that you had to live with the pain, but they had to live with the guilt.
And that's why they don't look at you and that's why they don't call you and that's why they don't treat you right, it's not that they hate you, it's that they can't stand to look at you because they remember what they did to you. And God wanted me to tell you that they did not get away clean either. And so, when the Holy Spirit stopped me at this text, I had to preach this text. Because for one moment, hear me good, for one fleeting moment, Joseph came out of character. He was the prince of Egypt until he heard them talking about what they'd done to him, and he thought they had gotten away clean, and they had not gotten away clean. And the Bible said he turned his head and wept, because it would have been helpful to know that he was not the only one in pain, it would have been helpful to know that somebody else suffered too.
It would have been helpful to know that they had some feelings, it would have been helpful to know that they weren't as transactional as they appeared to be. And God said you have not cried yourself to sleep by yourself, and that he allowed a famine to come to put you within earshot of their agony, because your books have been out of balance all of your life because you only see yourself as the only victim in your story, because when you write the books you read, you always come out on top.
And so Joseph gave them the corn, because when you get to the point that you recognize that everybody in this room is in some way broken then your nose comes down out of the air with your arrogant, self-righteous, high-minded, holier-than-thou self. Your nose comes down out of the air, and then you become eligible to fill my satchel with corn. Because you begin to understand that we are more related than I thought that we were, that your secrets and my secrets don't look that different, than what you're ashamed of, I'm ashamed of, too, that you went through hell while I went through high water, and all of a sudden we got something to talk about that we never had.
Bro, you want some corn, you're hungry? I'll take care of your corn, and by the way, I will give you your money because I wanna break that curse of being a transactionist out of your life, because you think every gimme has a gotcha, and you think that if I give you my corn, your money is enough, and I want you to know that my love is not for sale. So, here is the corn and the money, because we have got to settle this today. We have got to settle it today, because you can't spend another 13 years being a victim. The enemy has stole 13 years out of your life through the narrative you tell yourself, and unless he steals another 13 years, God told me to tell you that it's time to reconcile.