TD Jakes - You've Got Your Hands Full
When Elijah laid eyes on her, and he asked her for some water. And what is amazing to me about this text, is that this woman, who had her hands full, when the prophet came on the scene, she steps out of her own suffering to get him some water. I'm not sure I would have done that. I'm not sure, had my hands been fall like that, and now you gonna ask me? Don't ask me for nothing. But in order to step out of your suffering, your miracles begin when you step out of your own suffering.
Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Your miracle begins. It's in its embryotic stages whenever you step out of your own suffering. If you stop feeling sorry for yourself, and go help somebody else, it changes everything. But you gotta be willing to step out of your own suffering. You can't be selfish and get this miracle. You gotta be willing to step out of your suffering. She never turned him a back word. He asked her for some water, and she'd never turned him back word. With her sticks in her hand, she turned to go get him some water.
And while she was going after the water, he said, "Oh, oh, oh," like he was at McDonalds or something. He said, "Oh, and can I have a two piece and some fries? Give me a little cake, something to go along with it". And that's when she spills the beans. That's when she tells him, "I was gonna get you some water. I was gonna get you some water, but now you done messed around and asked for something else".
Let me tell you somethin,' man, I got my hands full. You comin' up here, I was going to get you a glass of water, but do you know what I was doing when you came up to the gate? I was gathering up sticks to build a fire to bake a cake. I only got a handful of meal and a little cruse of oil, that's all I got left. When you down to where you know exactly what you got, you broke. When you're down to where you know down to the penny, "I got $30.28". That's a careful calculation of a mama who's tryin' to make it work, and you ain't wondering what you got. You don't go in the store and just go to grabbing stuff, 'cause you know exactly. You ain't one of them people, got 40 rolls of toilet paper. You can't hoard nothing, 'cause you counting down to the penny.
I got 20 people left on staff. I got three people left on staff. I know exactly what I got left. I know exactly what I got left. I got one place left open, the other two places have shut down. I know exactly what I got left. She turned and told him what she had left. And God will never need what you lost. Your miracle will never happen in anything that you lost. God will always use what you got left. If you're in the house with somebody, tell 'em, say, "What you got left? What you got left? What you got left? What you got left? What you got left"?
If there's gonna be a miracle in his house, it's gonna come from what I've got left. If there's gonna be any change, it's going to come through what I got left. If there's gonna be a breakthrough, it's gonna come from what I've got left. It's not gonna come from what I lost. I don't have time to be bitter, because God doesn't need what I lost, he's only asking me for what I got left. But it's hard to give him what you got left when that's all you got. I don't mind giving you something, but when you ask me for what I've got left, and that's all I got, all I got. She knew exactly what she got. I got a handful of meal, and I got a cruse of oil. And I already measured it out, and I did not measure it with you in mind, okay.
Now, that's her condition. I got enough, 'cause I was getting ready to bake a cake for me and, here come the boy into the story, and my son to die. What kind of mood would a mother be in to have to come to the point that she's making a last meal for her and her child to die? How low would you have to go to be working on death? See, most of us are workin' on life. We're working on getting up. We're working on going forward. We're working on moving our way through life. We're working on what's gonna be next. We're workin' on recreating ourselves. We're working on getting up out of debt. She wasn't workin' on nothin' futuristic, she was working on dying. All hope is gone. At least she had a handful of meal and a cruse of oil, 'cause she was out of hope, fresh out, don't have no more. Fresh out of faith, don't have no more.
And then, I thought to myself, "This must be a real woman of God," until she said, "As the Lord God liveth". Oh, wait a minute, thy God, not my God? As" the Lord thy God "liveth. So, this was about Elijah and his God. So, God is now sustaining Elijah in the house of a woman who is an idolater, 'cause she does not claim Elijah's God. Sometimes God will put your provision in the house of an unbeliever. Y'all can't handle it. Sometimes the wealth of the unjust is laid up for the just. Sometimes God will use somebody who don't believe what you believe like you believe.
I know all of you church people, you don't fellowship, you don't fool with, you don't talk to, you don't interact with anybody else. But if Elijah had not been able to talk to her, he would've died, and she would have, too, because God hid his miracle in the house of a woman who was not a Hebrew, who was not a believer of Jehovah. And if she weren't an idolater, she still was not a believer of Jehovah. And, by the way, the reason the drought and the famine existed is because the king had introduced idol gods, and they were worshiping Baal.
So, we are not just seeing... can I preach this? I feel like preaching. We're not just seeing the decadence of the economy. We are not just seeing the erosion of the family. We're not just seeing the corrosion of her femininity. We are not just seeing the degradation of the family. Oh, no, it's deeper than that. We are seeing, at the core of it all, spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty will always lead to financial bankruptcy, hear me? Hear me good. Spiritual poverty will always lead to financial bankruptcy. It may take a long time. The wicked may prosper a long time, but sooner or later, gradually something will come along and it'll eat up your barns, and your storehouse, and everything you were counting on, because God will bring you down to your knees where you got to discover him, or you won't survive.
This is a discovery moment. It is a revelatory moment. If this woman does not pass this test, everything she's got gonna go down, and Elijah is gonna go down with it. Everything, all the chips are on the table, and she's standing there with her hands full. Look at somebody and say, "I got my hands full". It's a critical moment, but I got my hands full. I got a whole lot going on, and I need to make some decisions, but I got my hands full. I need to discover God in the middle of a crisis, but this ain't a good time. I can't even go to church. The church is shut down. The family is scattered. My life is in torment. And I gotta get a revelation, and I gotta get it quick, 'cause I'm running out of time. And I got a handful of meal back up in the house, and a little cruse of oil. And I got sticks in my hand, and I had enough hand left to get you some water, and now you want some bread.
What do you do when God want too much? What do you do when the demand seems greater than the supply? What do you do when you're at your wit's end and you say, "Lord, if one more thing happens"? I got my hands full, and God is saying, "Don't you know I know"? Don't you know I know you got your hands full. I knew you would have your hands full when I sent Elijah to your house. I already knew that you were a victim of the same situation that he was in, but I told him I had commanded a widow woman. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. God said I commanded this opportunity to come to you, not because of what was in your hands, but because of what was in your heart.
I discovered her heart when she went for the water. I knew she was an exceptional woman when she went for the water, 'cause a normal woman would have told him. So, don't be distracted by what's in her hands, because the real power is what's in her heart. It wasn't just her hands that was full, her heart was full. This woman might be in a famine and a drought, but she has a generous spirit. See, when you have a generous spirit, the Bible says you will eat of the fat of the land. She has lost everything except her generous spirit. She is a gracious woman.
Anytime you stop dying to bring a stranger a cup of water when you could've said, "Go get your own water, your legs ain't broke. You can go down to the river just like me," but she did not rationalize it. She did not reasoned it out. She did not debate it. She did not argue. She acted out of her heart, and stopped her death march, and turned around, and went to get him some water. I don't know who I'm preaching to, but God said turn around. Whatever you thought was gonna happen that ain't gonna be how it's gonna end. Your story is not gonna end the way the enemy been keeping you up at night, worrying you about, telling you, giving you nightmares, scaring you, what's gonna happen. The devil is a liar. This might be disruption, but it is not destruction.
Somebody ought to shout right there. I said it might be disruption, but it is not destruction. God said turn around. Turn around, God said turn around. God said turn around. God said turn around. God said turn around. I'm glad you're watching this morning, 'cause the Holy Ghost told me to tell you I know you got your hands full, but God said turn around. Hallelujah, I arrest your death march. I arrest your depression. I arrest your anxiety. I arrest your perplexity. I arrest your fear. I arrest your turmoil. God said turn around. Things are about to change. Turn around, a breakthrough is on it's way. Turn around, God is about to open up a door. Turn around, you're on the verge of a miracle. You're on the precipice of deliverance. You're on the edge of a breakthrough.
Somebody shout, "Turn around". Turn around, banker. Turn around, businessman. Turn around, grandmama. Turn around, mama. Turn around now, sister. Turn around, my brother. Turn around, preacher. Turn around, prophet. Turn around, bookkeeper. Turn around, real estate broker. Turn around, turn around, turn around. I may disrupt you, but I will not destroy you. I may shake you, but I won't break you. Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. And the man of God spoke to him, and he said I tell you what. If you'll bake a little cake for me first, hallelujah to God. If you'll just put me first. If you'll just put me first. If you'll stop planning on dying and put me first. If you'll stop planning on giving up and put me first, God said I'm about to open up a channel of blessings that you never saw it coming. I don't know who I'm preaching to, but this is gonna be unexpected. This is gonna be an exceptional blessing.
Look at somebody and holler, "Exceptional blessing". Except, except, except. Everybody's dead, except you. Everybody collapsed, except you. Everybody fainted, except you. Everybody gave away, except you. Everybody lost their mind, except you. Everybody caved, except you. God said I'm gonna give you an exceptional blessing. She was getting ready to die, but God said I'm going to give you an exceptional blessing, and all you gotta do to unlock it is bake a cake, a little cake, for me first. And you know what she did? She did it. It's one thing to hear it, it's another thing to do it. See, you can't just be a hearer of the word, you gotta be a doer of the word.
If hearing the word would set you free, you would've been free a long time ago. You don't miss a sermon. You don't miss a message. You catch everything on YouTube. You can preach all my message better than I can. You heard it, but it don't work 'til you do it. If she just heard it, nothing would've changed in her life. But God will not bless you for hearing it if you're not gonna do it. She said I'm gonna go do it. She went in the house, and she reached in the barrel, and she got a handful of meal.
Now look at this. She had a handful of sticks, she had a handful of water, now she's got a handful of meal. She had a handful of sticks, she had a handful of water, now she got a handful of meal. Look at somebody say, "I got my hands full". I got my hands full of sticks. I got my hands full of water. I got my hands full of meal. Tell 'em, "I got my hands full". I got my hands full of sticks. I got my hands full of water. I got my hands full of meal. She went from having a handful of death, to a handful of water, to a handful of provision.
God said step by step, step by step, I'm going to bring you out of this. Step by step, I'm going to turn this thing around, step by step. Whoo, I feel like shouting. I feel like shouting myself. Somebody holler, "I got my hands full". I started out with sticks, and then I got the water, and now I got a handful of meal. And so the Bible says that she reached her hand in the barrel, and she got a handful of meal, and she baked a cake for the man of God first. And the Bible said the meal barrel never ran out, neither did the cruse run out of oil.
I know what the book say, but you got to hear this correctly. It did not say that the barrel ran over, it just said that it didn't run out. You been upset 'cause it didn't run over, but you ought to start shouting, 'cause you didn't run out. If it never runs over, you gotta shout. But it never ran out. Look at your neighbor and say, "I never ran out". I cried, but I never ran out. I was worried, but I never ran out. I walked the floor at night, but I never ran out. I was upset, but I never ran out. I've been tested and tried, but I've never run out. For 43 years I've been preaching this gospel. I preached it in the storefront. I preached it in the valley. I preached it in the masses. I preached in the multitudes. I'm 62 years old, but I never ran out, yeah! I got my hands full. I got my hands full. I got my hands full.
Yell at somebody and say, "I'm still here". Yeah, I never ran out. I never ran out. I've been in the valley, but I never ran out. I've been on the mountain, but I never ran out. I've been without a job, but I never ran out. I had good times, and I never ran out. I had bad times, and I never ran out. This is a sign that God has come into your house. Not that you've ran over, but that you never ran out.
I don't know how long the famine lasted. I don't know how long the drought was there. I don't know how long Elijah stayed with her, but I know she never ran out. She had enough for herself, she had enough for her son, she had enough for her company. She had enough for herself, she had enough for her son, she had enough for her company. She had a handful of sticks, she had a handful of water, she had a handful of meal. She had enough for herself, enough for her son, and enough for her company.
I don't know how long, but when the famine was over, she was still standing. Because at every stage she was in throughout the entire story, the only thing that's consistent through the whole story, it says she had her hands full. She either had sticks in it, it had water in it, or it had meal in it. She always had her hands full. Do not get in this season and let your hands get empty. Keep your hands full. Keep somethin' goin' on. Keep some stirring up. Keep somethin' cooking. It might not be much, but keep somethin' in the pot. Keep somethin' goin' on. Keep something in your head, something in your mind, something in your spirit. Don't give up. Don't give in. Don't give out. Keep your hands, keep your hands full.