TD Jakes - I Can Relate
Burden and blessings at the same time. Misery and miracles at the same time. Touch somebody and say, "I can relate". I'm glad you're saying that 'cause that's what I'm gonna preach this morning: "I Can Relate". Look at somebody else and say, "I can relate". One of the great oddities of life is how paradoxical it is, how amazingly paradoxical it is. It is very seldom that you get all of one thing without the other. You know, you don't get all good times without bad times. Nor all bad things without some good. It just depends on how you handle it but life is full of both. When I started studying on this, I started studying on it from the aspect that we're all praying for a word from God.
How many people want a word from God? I want a word from God. I'm tired of hearing other people's opinions. I'm tired of hearing campaign speeches. I want a word from God. I'm leery of some of these "prophets" we got out here 'cause sometimes they "prophesy" out of their own heart, manipulating you according to their own mind. I don't wanna hear a word from you. I wanna hear a word from God. I wanna know what thus saith the Lord in my life. But the truth of the matter is God's Word can be disruptive. Regardless of what they tell you today, you know, seven ways to bless you, five ways to get up, God's gonna give you the blessing of Abraham. All of it might be true but the reality is when God's Word comes into your life, it will disrupt some things. It won't always be easy. It won't always be nice. Even when the word is good and positive, it is still disruptive. Oh yes, it is.
If you wanna do your own thing, don't bring God in it. If you wanna finish out your dreams and your plans go according to your own heart, don't bring God in it. I might warn you that your plans are not gonna end as well as you think. But if you wanna have it your way, don't expect God to go along for the ride. We have mismanaged our faith so bad, it's unbelievable. We use God like he's a bellman. Like, "Take it over here, and move it over there. Bless me, give me this, give me this job, give me this husband, give me this car". We just only use God's Word like he's Santa Claus. But the truth of the matter, it is not about you using God, it's about God using you. It's about you being available and open for God to speak and understand that when God speaks it cancels out everything you had in mind.
Can you imagine this young girl getting ready for her wedding, preparing for the dream of her life? She has saved her body, she has kept herself pure, she has been chaste, she has been holy. She has found her husband or he has found her. And they are scheduled to be married and she's just skipping through the tulips. All the girls are envying her. They're planning the wedding and what are you gonna wear? And what kind of fragrance will you wear? And what will you do? And here comes God and blows the whole party with his word. He comes in, "Hail, Mary, you've been highly favored". He didn't curse her. He blessed her. But the blessing of the Lord also is a burden. Oh, they don't believe it. They don't believe it. I said the blessing of the Lord also is a burden.
Every blessing brings a burden. That's what your haters don't see. They hate you because you're blessed but they don't understand that every blessing you got gave you... oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Touch somebody and say, "I can relate". I know blessings and burdens don't look related but they are. You cannot have one without the other. You wouldn't need a garage if you didn't have a car. You wouldn't need a carburetor if you hadn't bought a car. You wouldn't need to get to work if you hadn't had a job. Every blessing brings a burden. You can't have children and not have burdens. You can't have a companion and not have burdens. You cannot have an opportunity and not have a burden. You can't have a paycheck and not go to work. Every time God gives you something, "to him who much is given, much is required".
Blessings and burdens are cousins. In fact, God can only bless you to the level of your ability to stand the burden. If you can't handle the burden, stop praying for the blessings. They come together. You cannot have one without the other. Miracles and misery are related. Oh my God, sometimes I drive over the hill, coming over to the church, and I'm pulling over the hill and I look out and I see all the expansive parking lot and the traffic backed up and people coming from all directions, and I think, "Oh my God, I can't believe it". I still can't. I can't believe that the guy who would have dreamed of having 100 people in his church has almost 300 people on staff. Thousands and thousands and thousands of miracles. Is this a blessing? Yes. But is this a burden?
Oh my God, miracles and misery are so related that you can have your greatest miracle and feel miserable. You can have your greatest miracle in your life right now and not appreciate it because miracles often feel miserable. Fat people wanna be skinny. Skinny people wanna be fat. People with long hair trying to get it cut off. People who can't grow hair trying to get it sewed on. Everybody's trying to find their sweet spot where they can have the miracle and not the misery. But you got to take the bitter with the sweet, the up with the down, the right with the wrong. You can't have one with... oh, God, I don't know who I'm talking to but I'm talking to, "Hail, Mary.... So in fact, the reason I'm telling you you're highly favored is because you're not gonna feel like it".
If I were God, wouldn't I be stupid to come all the way down to Pastor Robertson's house to say, "Hail Pastor Robertson, you a black man". And he say, "Hail, Angel. I already knew that". Anytime God brings you a salutation, it's something that you don't know. You're not gonna feel blessed, you're not gonna look blessed. Everybody's gonna be talking about you. You're gonna be homeless. But I swear you are blessed and highly favored and, in spite of the misery, God is about to hand you a miracle. And the miracle will outlast the misery so hold on to the miracle even when you feel miserable. Don't give up your miracle just because you feel miserable. You're gonna be homeless but it will pass.
Joseph is gonna throw you away but I'll deal with him. Your girlfriends are gonna look at you and they're gonna be whispering about you at the barber's shop but it will pass. You're gonna have your baby in a barn with flies and gnats and cockroaches. You're gonna have a holy thing in a filthy place. How could you have something that holy in something that filthy? In fact, God has a habit of putting holy things in filthy places. And if he didn't, you wouldn't be saved today. For we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency may be of God. Oh, I feel like preaching this morning. How can you have a holy thing in a filthy place? This holy thing is born in a barn. This holy thing is born around cockroaches and lice. This holy thing is born around sheep dung and goat and, yet, it is still holy. Somebody holler, "Holy"! I can relate. Touch somebody and say, "I can relate".
Touch three people and say, "I can relate. I can relate. I can relate". I didn't even wanna live in Dallas. I didn't even wanna come over here. I'm from Chicago. I'm from Memphis. I thought I was gonna build a house in Tennessee. I did never expect that I would end up in this situation. I can relate. And then Mary does the thing that's hard for all of us to do. She says yes to the blank check of God's Word, "Be it unto me according to thy word. I'll go where you want me to go. I'll do what you want me to do. I'll say what you want me to say. You can mess up my plans, you can stir up my life, you can get me off course. Be it unto me according to thy word".
Warning, warning, warning. Don't say that if you don't mean that. Be it unto me. Be it unto me according to thy word. Your boyfriend about to divorce you, be it unto me according to thy word. Even when it looks like I'm losing, be it unto me according to thy word. Even when it breaks my heart, be it unto me according to thy word. Even when I cry myself to sleep, be it unto me according to thy word. Even when I'm backed in a corner and shoved to the wall, be it unto me according to thy word. Even when I make half the money I used to make, be it unto me according to thy word. Even when I have to raise these kids by myself, be it unto me according to thy word. I'm asking you have you said "Yes" to God? "Yes to your word, Yes to your will, Yes to your way, Yes when friends surround me, Yes when they walk out the door. I'll still be faithful even when I'm broken. Be it unto me according to thy word".
Then I want you to understand that this troubling moment, this troubling, disconcerting moment in her life, he brings up her cousin and says, "You know, your cousin is going through the same thing you are. Both of you all are dealing with two different kinds of barrenness". You see, Mary was barren because she was a virgin. And seeing as she knew not a man, how could she have a seed? And Elizabeth was barren because she was past childbearing age and she was an old woman. Both of them suffered from emptiness. You see, Elizabeth needed to have this child not just because she was an older woman and she had not proven in her society the importance of motherhood validated the existence of a woman. But deeper still, if Zechariah died without a child it would break the link of the entire Aaronic priesthood. And all Israel had left was priest.
The succession of kings had stopped and if the old woman did not birth a child, not only would it have personal ramifications but it would affect all of Israel for all they had left was a succession of priests and yet she, as a woman, was barren in the face of a dying priest. And if the priest died without a child, so would a priesthood. And when she was old, God blessed her to conceive. I wanna talk to you, baby boomers, don't you let these millennials run you out of town. Just because you're older doesn't mean you're not relevant. Just because we live in a society that does not relevate, does not appreciate, people as they get older, don't you drink the Kool Aid and set yourself down and die. Remain relevant. Get right beside the young people, plow right beside 'em, work right beside 'em, tell 'em, "Scoot over, baby. Papa's coming through".
If you don't do that, you won't teach them how to age and appreciate every facet of life and they won't serve God, they'll only serve youth. And if you serve youth, you're gonna be out of business in a year. If the only glory you has is your youth, your glory is fading while you're clutching after it. Touch somebody and say, "Scoot over". Now, the young woman has come to the old woman's house. Hey! And they found that their relativity is not built on their generation. It is built on their circumstances. Elizabeth's husband has stopped speaking to her and everybody else, and Joseph was trying to figure out how to get rid of Mary. So even though their ages were different, their miseries were the relationship.
Touch somebody and say, "Go see your cousin". Stop trying to connect with people you're not cousin to. I said stop trying to connect with people you're not cousin to. If you have to keep explaining yourself, it means they can't relate to you. When you find somebody who can relate to you, you ain't got to say nothing but, "Open up the door, girl. I'm coming in". Touch your neighbor and say, "Open up the door. I'm coming in". So she came in and here, God is sending her to minister to her cousin. Somebody say, "cousin". That's where I'm getting this, "I can relate," yeah. She is sent to minister to her cousin at a time that she is personally miserable. We have been asking you to be a miracle in the lives of people and you've been saying, "As soon as I get my situation fixed, I'm gonna be a blessing". No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, you will have to go miserable.
Touch somebody and say, "Go miserable". I preached a few months ago, "Go blind". You can't wait 'til your eyes open up to go. You gotta go blind. You gotta go in the dark. You gotta go with your feelings hurt. You gotta go with your bills backed up. You gotta go with your situation still laughing at you. You gotta go while you're on the seesaw of life. Sometimes up and sometimes down, but I'm preaching anyway. I'm teaching anyway. I'm going anyway. I'm shouting anyway. For nothing shall be impossible with God. So let me get my hat and my coat. I'm going to see Elizabeth. Now, Josephus helps us to understand Elizabeth's misery. As happy as she might have been to be with child at her age, and let me tell you something, there is no joy like the joy you get when you're not supposed to. When the devil said, "It's too late and you're too old and you're never gonna get it," and all of a sudden your belly starts swelling up. You say, "How d'you like me now, devil"? Look at somebody and say, "How d'you like me now"? When they said you would never get the job and you get the job, you say, "How d'you like me now"? When they said a girl like you would never get married and now you're flashing your ring...
Yeah, and it was a great moment in Elizabeth's life but I gotta tell you something. Josephus, the historian, tells us that even though Elizabeth was pregnant, her baby wasn't moving. And the fear was that even though she had made it to the place of blessings, the burden was that her baby was likely dead. Even though she had the miracle of being pregnant, her misery was she was likely carrying a stillborn. So when she heard the knock at the door and the old woman tried to get to the door to answer it, one was carrying a dead baby and the other one was carrying the resurrection and the life. And the Bible said, until the anointing of the Holy Ghost about to make somebody's baby leap. I know you think it's dead. I know it's not moving like you want it to move. I know it's not working like you want it to work. But I feel a breakthrough in this place this morning. I need 30 seconds of crazy praise.
I don't know who I'm preaching to this morning but you've been shut up for months, but God is about to bring you out of your cave. Get somebody you can relate to and shake 'em by the hand and say, "Neighbor, I know your situation looks dead. I know it's not moving like you want it to move but I got a word for you. God's gonna make your baby leap. God's gonna make your baby leap". I got up this morning to speak to dead things. I got up this morning to speak to things that are not moving in your life. I got up this morning to speak to your bills, speak to your family, speak to your heartache. I know the devil said your life is over, but the devil is a liar. God said that thing is about, it's gonna leap. I need 30 seconds of crazy praise!