TD Jakes — A Crumb For A Crisis
I love this message, I'm excited to be able to share it with you because I understand that while it does deal with the crisis and while it does deal with the cure, it also calls us on to ponder on the magnitude of a God who is so awesome, so infinite, and so awe inspiring that without any real effort from him, one crumb that falls from the master's table is sufficient to deal with the human crisis. If your faith has wavered and your mind is confused, your heart is perplexed and you're wondering how things are going to turn out, this is a timely message for you. It is in the gospel of St. Matthew, chapter number 15, verse 21 through 28, and there you will find that what feels like a crisis will only take a crumb. Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, "A Crumb for a Crisis".
Have you ever had a problem that go so big that you said, "I just can't handle this? I can't cover it, I can't hide it, I can't smile over it. This is a crisis". That's what happened to this woman, this Greek woman whose daughter was grievously vexed with the devil. I don't know what that means. I don't know whether it was an emotional issue, or a physical issue, how that evil manifested itself in her daughter's life, but I do know it had gotten so bad that she couldn't keep it in the house. Have you ever had a problem that got out of the house? More importantly, it will push you out of the house.
This woman has left her comfort zone, and she comes seeking Jesus. She's seeking him because she has heard that he is a deliverer, she went to him. This contradicts how I was taught faith. Let me tell you how I was taught faith. They taught me like this, they said, "Just wait on the Lord, brother. If the Lord means for you to have it, bless God, he'll give it to you. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. So you just sit up somewhere and just wait," and so I would just be sitting, I would just be sitting, I would be sitting. I would just be sitting, waiting on the Lord.
I was waiting on the Lord like you're waiting at the bus stop for the bus to come, because they told me that your real faith was proven by how long you could wait, and how long you could suffer, and how long you could grit your teeth. And that sooner or later it might be right before you take your last breath, the bus would turn the corner and the Lord would see about you, but that's not what I believe today.
I know today that faith without works is dead. You're not waiting on God, God is waiting on you, and if you want something from God, you can't just sit around and wait on him to come back, you gotta be radical enough to step out of your comfort zone and say, "Whatever it takes I'm willing to do what I need to do".
This woman was radical, she left home to get it, she left the familiar to get it, she left her ordinary to get it, she left her community to get it, she left her neighborhood to get it, she left the people who spoke her language to get it. She climbed over cultural barriers, religious barriers, linguistic barriers. She said, "I don't care what I got to, do or what language I gotta speak, or what neighborhood I got to go in," this woman, traveling down dangerous roads, came by herself, because she said, "I got to have a touch from the Lord, and what is after me is more dangerous than what's around me, and I've been pushed".
Have you ever had life push you? I normally wouldn't do this but life has pushed me, it's backed me in a corner, and she comes up the coast, comes up the coast, traveling just to see Jesus. I don't know how many miles she had to walk just to see Jesus. That's why when I hear people talk about, "I would come to your church, but I don't wanna have to walk through the parking lot," I think, "Don't come, you don't want anything". Because when you really want something from the Lord, you will walk wherever you gotta walk, go through whatever you gotta go through, move whatever you gotta move.
When you're really desperate for a touch from God, you will... don't tell me that you'll walk across the parking lot to go see the Cowboys play and you won't walk across the parking lot to get a touch for your child. You're not in trouble. When you really get in trouble, you will go out of your way. Touch your neighbor and say, "You gotta go out of your way". If you're gonna get healed, you gotta go out of your way. If you're gonna get a job, you gotta go out of your way. If you're gonna start a business, you gotta go out of your way. If you're gonna get up on your feet, you gotta go out of your way. If you're gonna fix the problem in your marriage, you gotta go out of your way. If you're gonna raise your child, you gotta go out of your way. If you're gonna get a touch from God, you gotta go out of your way.
She came all the way up the coast, and she came around the towns, and over the hills, and down through the ridges, and climbed over the rocks, and forded across the water to see Jesus. And when she came to Jesus, the loving Jesus, the saving Jesus, the healing Jesus, the delivering Jesus, the dead-raising Jesus, the water-walking Jesus, when she finally got to Jesus, got in close proximity where he could see her and where he could hear her, she cried unto him, respectfully, "Jesus, thou Son of David, I'm not trying to be important, have mercy on me. I'm not saying I deserve it, but have mercy on me. I'm not saying I always live right, but have mercy".
Have you ever needed some mercy? Have mercy on me. "Well, you see, Jesus, I've been traveling all around the coast here, across the river, out of my country, away from my friends, 'cause it's my daughter, Jesus. It's my daughter. I got a crisis in my house that drove me out of my house. It's my daughter, my daughter is grievously vexed with the devil". And the loving Jesus, the caring Jesus, the water-walking Jesus, the miracle-performing Jesus, this is what he said. He answered her not a word. Jesus didn't smile or anything, he answered her not a word.
What do you do when you're having a crisis and God says not a word? What do you do when you're running out of time and God says not a word? What do you do when the cutoff notice is on the 5th and you're down to the 4th and God says not a word? What do you do when you didn't get what you thought you were gonna get and you prayed about it, and you listened, and you waited, and you watched, and God said not a word? That's what I need you to teach, preacher. I don't need you to teach me how to react when God answers, I don't need you to tell me what to do when the miracle happens, I know what to do when the miracle happens, glory to God. What I'm trying to figure out is how do you survive when nothing happens at all?
I wanna talk a moment about surviving silence. I don't think I need to teach you what to do when the walls come tumbling down, when the two fish and five loaves of bread turns to a smorgasbord. Faith is proven in silence, in normal days, in periods when you feel like God is ignoring me. How could you be a loving God and see my crisis and answer me not a word? I was respectful, I call you by your messianic name, Son of David. I was humble, have mercy on me. I was truthful, my daughter is grievously vexed with the devil. I was open, I exposed my secret, and once I was vulnerable you said not a word. But it did not stop this woman.
Let me tell you something. If silence will stop you, you don't deserve success. If rejection will make you give up on your dream, you have not earned the right to have it. There is not one winner in here that hadn't been rejected at least ten times before they got one thing to open up in their life. Can I get anybody that will bear witness that the boy is telling the truth? And she kept on coming. She says, "Well, maybe you didn't hear me. Lord, help me, do something for me, fix this for me," and then she got down and she started worshiping him, she started worshiping.
Now, this is the art of real worship. Anybody can worship when things are going well, but you have to be a real believer to have all hell breaking loose in your life and you still clap your hands, and you still raise your hands, and you still say God is good, and you still say though he slay me, yet shall I trust him. You have to be a real worshiper to clap your hands and your child is sick. You have to be a real worshiper to praise your God and all hell is breaking loose. You have to be a real worshiper to lift him up and you lost your job, and you're two payments behind on your car payment, but you still got your hands up, and say you're still able, and you're still worthy to be praised.
Do you not know hell gets nervous when you praise God anyhow? Demons tremble when you praise God anyhow. Do you have any idea what God would do with your crisis right now if you would worship him in spite of the crisis? Do you have any idea how God would move if you would worship him in the middle of trouble? Do you have any idea how God works when you say though he slay me, yet shall I trust him?
Jay and I was watching TV the other day and I was watching one of those murder movies, and they were negotiating with a hostile takeover terrorist who was holding some hostages in a bank. And the negotiator, I thought he was trying to talk the man out of the building, but he really wasn't trying to talk him out of the building, he was just trying to stall him long enough to get a breakthrough.
This woman started praising God. It was a negotiation technique, because she knew if anything would stop Jesus it would be a praise. A complaint won't do it, feeling sorry for yourself won't do it, but if you wanna stop God in his tracks, I double dare you. And you can tell, when you read the text you can tell that if God had a weak spot, praise would be it. 'Cause it's almost like he's arguing with himself now. He says, "Well, you know, I'm not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel".
In other words, stop, don't make me bless you. You're not on my schedule, you don't have an appointment, I don't have time to go over there and deal with you, stop. If you don't stop praising me, I'm gonna have to turn around and do something for you. I don't know who I'm preaching to, but if you don't stop praising God... see, Jesus knows that his first responsibility was to come to his own, and she was not one of his, and he said, "I'm not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," but she kept doing that thing. She didn't ask him for nothing, she just kept worshiping him. She didn't argue with him, she just kept worshiping him.
And then, it's like he's wrestling with himself. He said, "It's not meet," it's not right, "To give the children's bread to the dogs". He says, "I fixed this bread for my children, and you came to see me about your child. You want me to take the bread that I was gonna give..." notation, healing is the children's bread. He says, "This is right out the oven. This is hot bread, I'm getting ready to serve my kids and you want me to give my kids' food to your kid's crisis"?
And that should have ended it, but this crazy woman... I wish I had some crazy women this morning. See, in the world, being cute counts, but in the kingdom, being cute don't mean anything. You don't need to be cute, you need to be crazy. This woman said, "I don't care what you say, I don't care how you look at me, I don't care what name you call me," she said, "Yeah, I'm a dog". Anybody else, you call 'em a dog, they are out of that church. She said, "Yeah, truth Lord, I am a dog," she said, "But even the dogs..."
I love her. She wasn't trying to do like people do today, they try to be important, they try to come and, "Do you know who I know? Do you know who my father is"? She didn't say nothing, she said, "Yeah, I'm a dog, but even the dogs can eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table". In other words, she's talking about a custom that Jesus was well aware of. That in the Bible days, the master's dogs would get up under the table at dinner time. Some of them would sit in their laps, they were called lap dogs, and they would be in position... They'd be just waging their tail, they'd just be in position.
I know you didn't fix this food for me, I know you didn't have me in mind when you were breaking this bread, but I'm gonna put myself in a position that any way you bless me, Lord, I will be saved. Whoo, don't you all pull on me this morning, 'cause I feel something pushing me this morning. I feel something pushing me this morning. You have to put yourself in a position to be blessed. She said, "I'll tell you what, I don't see no name tag on the dinner table for me, and maybe I'm not supposed to be here, and maybe you didn't have me in mind when you was cooking up your blessing, but I tell you what I'm gonna do... I'm just gonna hang around here until something falls my way. I'm just gonna get close enough that if something drops, I got it".
See, if you're a baker, you can appreciate this. Once you bake the cake, if you take a crumb from the cake and took it to the laboratory, a scientist could give you the recipe from the crumb. If you got sugar in the cake, you got sugar in the crumbs. Y'all don't hear me. Whatever is in the bread is in the crumb. All I need, all I need...
Listen friends, you can live with a problem, but a crisis requires a resolution. A crisis is the kind of life-changing problem that cannot be ignored. Although a crisis is huge and sometimes overwhelming, it only takes one word, one touch, or even just a crumb from the table of the master to deliver you. Be ready, be willing, be able, be on guard, be available, step out of your comfort zone like the woman in our story and give God a sacrifice of praise, of faith, of tenacity.