TD Jakes - Nothing Just Happens
God steps in when you run out of strength, and you run out of ideas, and you run out of willpower, and God says, "I'm going to do this. I'm going to deliver you. I'm going to bless you." Look at your neighbor and say, "Nothing just happens." You're at the right place, at the right time, with the right people, doing the right thing, and God is about to show off in your life.
Listen, I'm excited to share the Word of the Lord with you. I believe that God is going to speak into your life in a powerful way. We're taking you back and sharing some Word that has had tremendous impact into the lives of God's people. I want you to hear this message. The message is called: Nothing Just Happens. I believe it will speak to you in a very profound and didactic way. I want you to receive the Word with gladness. Get a pencil, get a pad, whatever you need, iPad, I don't care what you use, but get ready to go to the Word of God. Take a look.
When we look down into the book of Ruth, I am particularly fascinated over this phrase as she begins to talk about... up under the coercion of Naomi who becomes a mentor, as it were, for her. She finds herself and she says that she seemingly happened over to the field of Boaz. And there are some things that you need to understand.
It is no coincidence. The whole story is no coincidence that when the famine broke out, when the famine first broke out in Bethlehem and Elimelech takes Naomi, his wife, and his two little boys, and says, "We've gotta get out of here. We can't eat and we can't make it." It was not by happenstance. Nothing happens by accident, you need to understand that. He led them out and takes them over into Moab, and when he gets them over into Moab, he puts them in a situation where God begins to orchestrate his will in their life.
Look at somebody and say, "Nothing just happens". So, there he is in Moab, in a situation where these two young men find two young ladies and they happened to get married over there, and all of a sudden then have embraced these Moabite girls and made them their wives, and none of this happened by accident, but everything that God has ever done in our lives is orchestrated that we might understand that there is some master plan, that there is not a sequence of chaotic events that occurs, but in fact, God is in control.
Say, "Nothing just happens". It's important that you look backwards and understand that even in the famine, God was there giving them a particular city to go to. They could have went to many peripheral cities other than Moab, but God somehow predestined for them to end up in Moab because the will of God was to be worked out in their lives by them going to Moab. And when they got over there, just seemingly it was a good idea to go over there and they got over there but God was ordering their steps. They met two girls and married them. It seemed like a good idea, but nothing just happens. God was in the plan all the while.
And then, Naomi goes to through these terrible experiences. She loses her husband, she loses her companion, she loses her lifelong friend, and if that were not enough to break our hearts as we read the story, because it is painful anytime you lose a spouse, someone with whom you have shared your life, someone with whom you can trust, someone with whom had led you through bad times, and walked you through crisis, and all of a sudden she finds herself alone and in pain, sleeping alone at night, getting up in the mornings by herself, fixing breakfast for someone who's not there, missing their sound, missing their touch, missing the reality of their presence, wrapping herself up in a blanket at night trying to remember what it was like to be held by Elimelech.
He was gone, vanished in the night. Death tips in almost with tennis shoes on, tiptoes, snatches out of our beds those that we love and leaves us alienated, confused, and perplexed. And with this kind of pain that she wrestled with and groped with, and if that had not been enough, she soon gets the news that not one of her sons, but both of her sons were dead.
Now, it is tragic to lose a husband, but we understand that as we get older, we all face the possibility that we might be separated by death. Did we not say when we married, "Till death do us part"? We entered into an understanding that death might be the separator that divorced us one from another. We understood that marriage was just for a lifetime, but when we have our children, we do not expect to bury our children. If there were anything that were to break a mother's heart, to take the gleam out of her eye, to take the smile out of her face, it is to look down into the cold confines of a casket and see the withered remains of a child that she has once nursed at her own breast, and held in her own arms, and recognized that her baby was dead, and then not one but two.
And at that point, all joy went out of her spirit and there was nothing left but sorrow. And it was of this that she began to write. She said, "I could deal with the famine, I dealt with the famine, I thought the famine was terrible," she said, "But I was still full. I left Bethlehem full because I had my husband, I had my children," she said, "But now I'm empty". I wanna caution you, because before she lost her children, and before she lost her husband, the famine was a real problem, but after she lost her husband and lost her children, she began to recognize that some of the things that you're whining about really don't matter.
I caution you this morning that you resist the temptation to complain about things that don't matter, and what people said about you, and who hurt you, and who didn't like you, and who wasn't there for you, and who's fighting you on your job. Save your tears, baby, because if you keep living long enough, you'll go through some real things that make your skin crawl, I mean the kind of things that make you hug yourself at night.
Have you ever gone through something where you had to hug yourself 'cause you couldn't find anybody else to hug you? Have you ever had to wrap your arms? Oh no, I know you don't want nobody to know that you know what I'm talking about, but there are a few people in this room who know what it is to take a pillow and bunch it up around 'em and wish it was a person, and stick your face over to the pillow, and scream in the middle of the night. There are a few people in this room who know what it is to have tears to go across the bridge of your nose and not have not one handkerchief nor hand to hold it to wipe it from your face, and to wake up in the morning and to know that the problem is still there, but you still got to go to work, and you still got to deal with the issue, and you still gotta keep on going on because life will hand you trouble.
Touch somebody and say, "But nothing just happens". These three women of trinity, of pain, and sorrow, and depression, and fear have come to a separating point, and Naomi says to them, "Well, you know, I'm going home now. I've got nothing else to stay here for. My sons are dead, my husband is dead, my life is over. I might as well go back to Bethlehem. Don't call me Naomi anymore because Naomi means "my joy," and I'm not happy anymore. Call me Mara because I am a bitter woman full of sorrow, and pain, and she renames herself, and she gets ready to go, and the Bible talks oh so poetically how these three women huddled together.
For many, many times when you've gone through great pain, the best friends you have are people who have been through what you've been through. Oh God, what we need in sorrow is somebody who will cry with us. Jesus cried in the Garden of Gethsemane till great drops of blood like sweat fell from his brow, and his three closest friends were asleep. He was frustrated with the fellowship because they would not share his pain. Fellowship becomes intense. The opiate of fellowship begins at the point that when I weep, you weep with me, when I rejoice, you rejoice with me.
I know you're my friend when you're happy for me, I don't trust nobody who's not happy for me when I'm happy. I'll be laughing and looking in your eye, and if your eye don't light up, I always write it down. Always write it down, because sometimes people will smile but they're really not happy for you. You gotta find somebody that's glad when you're glad and cry when you cry. Oh, do you hear what I'm saying? When I'm going through sorrow, I look for somebody who's really sad, not faking, not putting on a front, but somebody who really feels what I feel, and the three women wept together.
Just for rehearsal, touch somebody and say, "Will you cry with me"? Yeah, I don't need to wonder will you fly with me, I don't need to wonder will you drive with me, I don't need to wonder will you build with me, I don't need to wonder will you sit at the pinnacle of success with me, but I just wanna know, will you cry with me? Is there anybody left? Oh God, I feel like preaching. Is there anybody left who knows how to cry with me?
And so, the three women, in a huddle like football players, with their arms wrapped around each other, their tears ran down their face, and mixed together in a puddle of mud on the floor as they shed their tears over problems that none of them could fix. And at the end of their weeping, Naomi says, "I'm going home. I've had enough. This is it. I'm going on back". And when they started weeping, they weeped for her to stay, and she said, "It's ridiculous for you to ask me to stay. I can't stay. If I met a man right now and got pregnant right now would you marry my sons"? She said, "By the time they got grown again it'd be too late". She said, "Now time is a problem". Look at somebody and say, "Time is a problem".
What do you do, my brothers and sisters, when you still got the passion but you're running out of time? What do you do? What do you do when time is against you, and you know what needs to be done, and if you had the benefit of all your experience, and all your knowledge, having gone through what you've gone through, if you had more time you could fix it? But, time is against you. What do you do when you don't have time to remarry, start all over again, and build a life and fix it?
She says, "Time is against me". There are some people sitting out in the audience right now, that if you could live your life over again, you would live it so much better, so much smarter, and you're frustrated right now, because you say, "Oh God, why did you let me learn so much so late"? I wanna challenge you to understand that God let you learn what you needed to learn when you needed to learn it. I'm going to challenge you to understand that if God would have wanted you to mature sooner, you would have matured sooner. I want you to understand that the time is right for God's divine purpose in your life.
Oh God, I'm getting ready to blow your mind. And God, incidentally, doesn't want you to be too strong when he blesses you anyway, because if God would have given it to you when you were strong, you would have praised you strength, so God waits till your knees are wrinkled, and your breasts are sagging, and it's too late for you to do anything about it. And God steps in when you run out of strength, and you run out of ideas, and you run out of willpower, and God says, "I'm going to do this. I'm going to deliver you. I'm going to bless you".
Look at your neighbor and say, "Nothing just happens". You're at the right place, at the right time, with the right people, doing the right thing, and God is about to show off in your life. Nothing just happens. Say it with me, "Nothing just happens". Look at your neighbor and shake their hand like you're gonna shake it off, and say, "It's not too late".
And so, they've held each other in their circle as long as they could. And when they could hold each other no longer, and when not one more tear would come, they broke their circle. Oprah broke loose, and she says, "I'm going back to Moab," and she turned and walked away. This is one of the most critical points of the text. Who goes and who stays has everything to do with your story. Lord, have mercy. If you want the answer to life, watch who goes and watch who stays. Oprah got ready to go, she loved Naomi, but she could leave her. There are folks who love you, but they can leave you. When they love you and they leave you, I learned something. Don't stop 'em. Y'all can't handle me teaching like this. I learned to let folks go.
Some of you have spent the last 10 years trying to hold somebody who didn't wanna be held, keep somebody who didn't wanna be kept, talk somebody into coming back who didn't wanna come back. I learned to let them go. The Bible said, "Doors he shuts, no man can open them". And when God shuts a door, it ain't no need in you trying to shake the lock, just let the door close, because God knows better than you do what you need. Who am I preaching to, today? I don't know who I'm preaching to, by my word to you is let 'em go. Let 'em go. Release 'em out of your spirit, our of your mind.
The book said, "They came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not of us. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us". People leave you because they're not joined to you, and when they're not joined to you, they can't stay. Even if they love you, they can't stay, 'cause they don't fit. But, if you ever fit, you can't leave. I can get on your nerves, but you gotta stay. I can hurt your feelings, but you... oh, you don't hear what I'm saying.
Oprah left Naomi because she could. When they leave you and they're able to do it, it's a sign that they weren't of you. Because if they're really joined to you, they can try to leave and they say, "I just gotta come back to you. It's just something about you. I just feel like my destiny's tied to you. We got to work this thing out. When I said what you thought, I didn't mean what you thought that I said, 'cause there's something got me connected here. It's something got me hooked up and I'm not happy apart from you, because you and me supposed to do something together. I don't know what it is, I don't know how it is, I don't know where it is, but my destiny is tied to you".
And so, kiss Oprah goodbye. It's not that she's a bad person, it's just that her destiny was not tied to Naomi, but Ruth, Ruth looked at her other sister-in-law go away, and she looked at her mother-in-law getting ready to leave. She looked at her sister-in-law, Oprah, going, and Naomi going this way, and she's stuck in the middle. She has a decision to make. "Do I just like this woman, or am I connected to this woman"? Out of her heart flows the most beautiful poetry. "As the Lord liveth, I shall not leave thee. Where thou livest, I shall live. Where thou eateth, I shall eat. Where thou diest, I shall die. Thou people shall be my people. Thy God shall be my God".
I don't even understand where we're going, but I'm going with you. What is happening in this text is so awesome because they are spending their lives together. Do you understand? I'm gonna try to make you see this. Do you understand that we are spending our life together, that your story will never be able to be written and not mention me, that I am a part of your life, and that you are a part of my life, and that we are spending moments together?
When Ruth and Naomi started walking to Bethlehem, they were spending their life together, and nothing just happens. There was a reason. My God, it hit me, all God used Elimelech for was to bring Naomi to Moab so that she could meet Ruth. And when Elimelech had brought that old woman to Ruth, that's why he died, because it wasn't about Elimelech. Y'all can't handle this kind of teaching. Sometimes you'll meet somebody, one person, who changes the rest of your life. They don't have to be your color, they don't have to be your culture, or from your country, but God will use them to revolutionize your life. And everybody you met before was scaffolding, just used to bring you to the point of where you are right now.
Do you understand what I'm saying? I'm trying to get you to understand. Let me whip this on you. Can you all, you all look like you can handle some Word. What I'm trying to get you to see, you keep looking at the puppet on the stage, but I'm trying to get you to see the master behind the curtain. The master, in a puppet show, everything, the furniture, the curtain, the puppet, everything has got strings on it. And you keep watching the show, but the real artist is not on the stage, the real artist is the puppet master who's pulling strings, and moving drapes, and moving curtains. And the issues of your life, God had a string on everything in your life. And a lot of people left you because they were just props, and when they had done what they were supposed to do, he snatched 'em out.
When this one's time was over, he snatched 'em out, because God is moving you systematically toward a pre-destiny and no weapon formed against you shall prosper. Every tongue that rises up against you God will condemn, God will do it. I don't rebuke you, I'm like Michael. I don't rebuke you, but the Lord... get back, Satan!
If you understand that nothing just happens, you begin to understand that even your mess up was a setup. You begin to understand that all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord who are the called according to his purpose. That even when you blew it, it was a setup. That even your setback was a setup for a comeback.
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh. It was clear it was plain what the Word of God was. "Jonah, go to Nineveh". Jonah jumped on a boat going to Tarsus, went in the other direction, a storm arose, the men became fearful, they threw Jonah off the boat into the sea. Look at somebody and say, "But nothing just happens". If Jonah wasn't supposed to try to go to Tarsus, how come God had a fish? I don't know whether you can handle this or not.
Touch somebody and say, "Nothing just happens". Even when I blew it, God had a fish waiting for me. He knew I was going to blow it. He knew where I was gonna blow it at. He already made provisions. My mishap was a setup for a comeback, and I don't know who I'm preaching to in here today, but God said, "I'm gonna take your mess up and I'm gonna use it for a setup. And when I pull you out of it, they're gonna know that you're my child. They're gonna know that it's not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, sayeth the Lord". Somebody give him glory.
I've gotta stop there. It's been a real joy to have this opportunity to be in your home or wherever you are to share the Word of the Lord with you. I pray God that you would understand that God is sovereign and that he is absolute, and he orchestrates our fears, and he has a way of making even bad things work together for good. All things work together for the good of them that love the Lord. Nothing is just happening in your life. God has a plan. Stick to the plan. Even when you don't understand the plan, the best, oh bless his name, is yet to come. Have a blessed day. God be with you till we meet again.