TD Jakes - Mommas, Mentors, And Moments
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Moses's mama was courageous. She was strong. She birthed her baby under threat of death. And then I have to acknowledge the midwives who could've been killed, but had the courage to lie to Pharaoh so that Moses could be born. Because God knew that had Moses's mother not birthed that child, then the promise that he had made to Abraham could not be made complete, that, "Your children will sojourn in Egypt for 400 years, and afterwards I will bring them out with great substance".
And all God needed was a partner, and he partnered with Moses's mother just to birth him into the world. And that was success, just to bring him into the world. If you just push him out, I'll take care of the rest of it. If you just get on the stool and push him into the world, if you have the courage to go through the first, and the second, and the third trimester, if you have the courage and the strength to fill your lungs with air and push until you break blood vessels in your face, and bring him from eternity into time, then God said, "I will partner with you in bringing the mighty into the earth, because I am partnering with mothers to birth a child that you haven't even met yet, and you don't even know what it's gonna be".
And only time will tell what the child will be, because Moses's mother had no idea that she was delivering the baby that would deliver her. But sometime it be's like that. And you have to have the courage to wait and see, and do like the Bible says, "Judge nothing before its time", because sometimes the child who gave you the most trouble will end up being the greatest blessing. Sometime the child who got on your nerves, and broke your heart, and made you take off work to go down to the school and break up the fights, and made you go down to the corner and defend him on the corner as if you were one of the kids, that's the very child that turns around and takes care of you in your old age, and makes sure that everything's all right for you. You may be delivering somebody that ends up delivering you. Are you hearing what I'm saying to you?
And then there is this decision that she made. She had the courage to recognize that she had done all she could, and she knew when to let Moses go. That takes a lot of courage, to recognize your own limitations, to know that you're a part of the plan, but you're not the whole plan, and you're not the end all, be all of the child's life. And you have to turn 'em over to God and say, "I turn you over to the hands of God. I started it, Lord. You finish it". She released her children over to the Lord. And the baby floated down the Nile without his mother, and his sister running alongside tryin' to watch to see if he was safe swimming amongst snakes and gators. And that is so much life.
Life is about surviving the circumstances you have to float in. I'm gonna say that again. Life is about surviving the circumstances you have to float in, to have enough ark around you to position you so that you can swim through gators and not be bit, and survive all the vipers that could destroy you. Eventually mama has done all she can do. She has to turn you over to God. And you must realize, in this turning Moses over to God, she ends up in a situation where Pharaoh's daughter happened to be bathing. Look at this pass off from this mother to this mentor. You see, Moses's mother could not mentor him for his future, because Moses's mother was a slave. And she could not mentor him to be a deliverer because she was bound herself.
So there had to be a trade off from the mother to the mentor. And so when the Bible says that Pharaoh's daughter happened to come down to the river to bathe, it is a transition. And I want to say to every mother, you gotta know when to quit. You gotta know when to back up, and take your hands off a situation, and turn the child over to God. You gotta know when enough is enough. You gotta know when to shut your mouth, and hold your peace, and let God finish the work that you began; that you don't hold the whole mystery of who your child is, that you don't always know who they ought to marry, and that you're not always right about where they ought to move. And sometimes the wisest thing a good mother can do is to turn them over to God.
I just want to talk to you this morning. I don't care if you don't shout and I don't care if you don't run the aisles or anything like that because this is so important. Because we are losing good families, and good mamas, and good grandmamas. It used to be that Grandma's wisdom held the house together. It was Madea and Big Mama that told you, "Go on back to that man. He's a good man". And we're losing that in our community and now Big Mama and Grandmama got Alzheimer's. And wisdom has left the house 'cause Granny so busy being sexy, she don't have time. Of course, you gotta understand that Granny today is only 42. And so a lot of our sons are in jail and our daughters are in trouble for the lack of Mama, and Big Mama, and Grandmama. I mean, them tough Madea-type grandmamas who would come down and embarrass you in front of everybody and whip your behind all the way back to the house until you sittin'.
Y'all not gonna talk back to me. Y'all act like y'all don't know nothin' about what I'm talking about. If we survive all of our history, and all of our ancestry, and all of our struggles, and all of our troubles, ain't no way you're going to tell me sitting up there with your Apple phone that times are worse today than they were back then. If grandma made it makin' hot water cornbread... y'all don't hear me. If grandma made it with no refrigerator, an ice house in the back, if grandma made with a wood stove on the back porch, fryin' chicken in a black kettle, if grandma made it, surely you can make it with a microwave, and a dishwasher if grandma made it. To really produce greatness, you can't do it by yourself. It has been said, the African adage, "It takes a village to raise a child".
To raise Moses for what he was going to be, he needed more than a slave mama. He needed a princess mentor so that he would walk with his head up and back straight, so that he would have enough defiance to be able to go before pharaohs and kings and be exposed to things that slaves would never be exposed to. Some of you didn't get everything that you needed from your momma, but God sent a mentor that walked along beside you, and filled in the blanks, and made up the difference. And for you, mother's day is mentor's day because where somebody else left off, somebody else picked you up, and finished you off, and polished you up, and dusted you off.
And Moses's mother passed the torch to Moses's mentor, and she was the gateway into the palace. She was the gateway into education. She was a gateway into opportunities. She was the gateway into perseverance. She was the gateway into class, and dignity, and notoriety. She was the gateway into defiance and the right to have an opinion. And so what the devil meant for evil, God made it good. It was good that Moses didn't get what other people got because Moses wasn't gonna be what other people were. God puts you in the situation that you needed to be in to make you tough in the areas that you need to be tough so that you can stand up against life.
So stop feeling sorry for yourself over what mama didn't give ya, because mama couldn't give you what she didn't have. So thank god for the mentors that decided to go bathing while you were crying in your despair, and picked you up, and exposed you to a world you would have never gotten in any other way. And to God be the glory, 'cause it's all good and it's all God. I said it's all good and it's all God. I said it's all good and it's all God. You have to make peace with your story. You can't spend the rest of your life mad about something you can't do nothin' about. It's all good. It's all God. It's all good. It's all God. It's all good. It's all God.
And Moses, his mama, his mentor, and then he has a moment. As a grown man, he has a moment, a moment of conflict and discomfort. And that's why I'm concerned, because we run from conflict and discomfort, but those are the defining moments of our lives. When you have a moment, it's never a comfortable moment. It's a moment where you're conflicted, and you're darned if you do and you're darned if you don't, and should I say somethin' or should I not say somethin', should I go in or should I go... defining moments raise you.
Moses looks out a window and he sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave, and it was the moment. It was the moment. Anybody else would've looked out that window and paid it no attention at all, but Moses all of his life had been groomed for the conflict of this moment. Moses didn't see this the way other people saw it because of his background. And I'm telling you, it's not just your mama that raises you. It's not just your mentors that raise you. It's also your moments. Good God. There is a moment that comes up in your life that you find out who you are, that you find out why you're here, that you find out what you're called to do. There is a moment that raises you. There's a moment where you stand up like a full grown man. There's a moment that you stand up like a grown woman and say, "I'm a grown woman". Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm talkin' about. There's a moment that you have an awakening and intensity and you say, "Wait a minute, I'm better than this".
And so it's not enough to have mamas and it's not enough to have mentors. If you don't have the wisdom to recognize your moment, your moment defines you. Your moment defines you. Often in chaos, and often in conflict, and often in discomfort, and often in scandalous moments, those moments, how you deal with that moment will determine who you are. I have seen moments in my life and I know you have too, that something stood up inside of you that you didn't even know you had. Have you ever had a moment that drew something out of you that was hidden down inside of you? And you didn't even know you could talk like that, you didn't know you could write like that, you didn't even know that that was down inside of you, but in that moment...
Oh, I wanna praise him for the moments. The moments, those bar mitzvahs, those moments where a man stands up in you. You're not a man 'cause you got hair on your chest. You're not a man 'cause you can make a baby. And you're not a woman because you got a shape and a figure and everybody wants to get with you. You won't be a woman until you get in a moment and you say, "Wait a minute. Wait one minute here". And you have an awakening, an epiphany as to what really matters down in your life. So while we recognize mothers and we recognise mentors, I want you to recognize those moments in your life, moments that define you.
My mother was dying. She had Alzheimer's, and she said, "Whatever he says, do". You do that. And the brevity, the gravity of her trust in me did not allow me to punk out of a decision. And like a full grown man, sometimes you gotta stand up and deal with whatever you got to deal with. And you can cry later, but in that moment, you gotta stand up like a grown man and a grown woman and handle your business. You ain't got no choice. The moment is upon you and you have no choice. If you can't think for yourself, who you gonna point to? Defining moments. Out of the chaos, and the smoke, and the confusion of being who you are, there comes a moment that defines you.
This is a prophetic word for somebody. I don't know who this is. You could have screwed up everything else, but if you get this moment right, you a grown man. Oh, you could've messed up all of your life, but if you'll get this moment right, you a grown woman. Nevermind what you did yesterday. You can't change what you did yesterday. You can only stand on what you're doing right now. This was Moses's defining moment. If he blew this moment, the whole story is gone. His whole purpose for being in the earth is predicated on how he handles this moment.
And Moses says, "Wait a minute. I am the boy you're beating". And he stands up in that moment. Have you ever stood up in a moment? Have you ever stood up in a moment? Have you ever had an awakening? And you've been thinkin' you was weak, and all of a sudden you had an awakening. And you said, "Wait a minute". Wait a minute! Don't you put your hands on me. Wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, you can't talk to me just any kinda way. I don't care what I did, you can't... Have you ever had a moment? I said have you ever had a moment? Have you ever had a moment where you decided, "Wait a minute, I got to take care of this child. I'm a grown woman. I got to do what I gotta do. I gotta make things happen"?
Have you ever had a moment that drew somethin' out of you that you didn't even know was in you? I wanna speak to every person in this room who's having a moment, a tough moment, a difficult situation, a complicated circumstance. I want to speak to every person who wonders, "Are you big enough to handle what's been thrown on you"? I'm telling you, this moment, it's going to draw out of you stuff you didn't even know you had. I want to speak to every person who's dealing with a situation that you feel surrounded, and scared, and nervous, and everything is on the line, and you could lose it all. And you're dealing with a moment that is pulling out of you stuff you didn't know you had. Because God knows what kind of situation to put you in to bring you to yourself.
So everything you didn't get from your mama and everything you didn't get from your mentor, you will get from this moment. This is your moment. This is your time. This is your moment. Baby, it's your time. I don't care how old you are. This is your moment. I am sick of my generation. I'm sick of us talking about how old we are. I'm sick of us giving up on our dreams and our vision. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of it. Sometimes it takes you a long time to have a moment. You don't have a moment just because you want to have a moment. Sarah was an old woman before she had her moment. Her knees were wrinkled before she had her moment. You can't tell God when to bless you. Somebody holler, "This is my moment"! I may be 65, but this is my moment. I may be 72, but this is my moment. I may be 51, but this is my moment. I may be 28, but this is... thirty seconds of crazy praise from people who are having a moment.