Do you have a guess?
It's not what you might think. Today I'm going to talk about the mighty *yet*...
No, "The Mighty Yet" is not the nickname for the Abominable Snowman, Yeti – that big hairy beast that lives in the Himalayas.
The mighty *yet* is something else entirely…
I am going to talk about a verse that leaped off the page for me just the other day. (I love when that happens, don't you?!)
A little backstory first.
My mom has decided to put this phrase on my father's headstone:
"Great Is God's Faithfulness"
We all agreed that it would be a wonderful testimony to what we believe.
Yes, God has always been so faithful to our family, and never more so than in the last few days of my father's life. How we were guided, and comforted, by a God who never lets go.
So, of course, we wanted to also put the Bible reference. Most of you probably know that this verse is found in the book of Lamentations.
Though no one knows for sure who wrote the book, traditional thought has it penned by the prophet, Jeremiah. Good ol' Jeremiah, also know as "The Weeping Prophet."
And indeed, the book of Lamentations is a collection of poetic laments for the destruction of Jerusalem. I thought it might be interesting to look up the definition of lament:
Lament – a passionate expression of grief or sorrow, deep and mournful regret
To me, the word lament means something much deeper, much stronger than mere sadness. To me it is soul-deep, heart-ravaging sadness. The kind that is almost a physical presence.
As I thought about this verse, I became more and more intrigued about its placement in the middle of a book about destruction.
I thought more about it when my mom asked me to read it out loud to her. I told her that I wanted to put it into context, so I read the verses in Lamentations 3 that preceded it (all of these verses are from the New Living Translation).
Lo and behold, that's when it leaped out…
The wonder of a simple word: YET
Here's the words right before verse 21:
"I cry out, 'My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost!'
The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss."
It would be a good exercise to read the entire first part of chapter 3. It's a gut-wrenching litany of deep pain, deep sorrow, deep despair.
It's gritty, it's real.
And then, like a beam of light shining brightly in the middle of a dark, dark night, verse 21 arises:
"YET I still dare to hope…"
One simple word, one seemingly innocuous word – YET – but a word that is so much more.
It is a battle cry of faith. A shout of victory to all the junk that life would bring our way. A retaliation against the enemy's tactics to beat us down.
A holy *NO* to the temptation to give in and give up.
Yes, *YET* sends the crazy, bold message that IN SPITE of everything to the contrary, DESPITE evidence of hopelessness, INSTEAD of giving in to despair…
I am going to do something wild and unpredictable – something beyond my natural tendencies – I am still going to DARE to hope.
I looked up the word dare:
Dare – to have enough courage or confidence to do something
Yeah, that's what this verse is saying. Not just that I'm going to hope, but I'm going to still dare to hope. I'm going to go out on a limb and take a leap of faith, I'm going to risk it all on a moment of trust…
*YET* is a victor's cry!
But is this phrase some naïve, misinformed, foolish rebel's yell? Does it have any basis for its daring message?
Yup, sure does.
And that's found in the second half of verse 21:
"…when I remember this."
What is "this"?
Verses 22 and 23:
"The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."
Yeah, that's the foundation for this ridiculously brave statement.
Not the crummy, scary, overwhelming circumstances. Not the barren landscape of a winter season of the soul. Not the blight of daily living in a sin-fallen world.
It's not even a matter of MY faithfulness.
The rock-solid foundation is the faith-full-ness of our eternally faithful LORD! The One who was, who is, and is to come. The great and glorious and almighty I AM.
It is HIS faithfulness, HIS love, and HIS mercy that gives us the righteous audacity to hope…
I'm paraphrasing these verses like this:
"The thought of my suffering
and sense of loneliness
is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time,
this wilderness season
through which I am passing,
as I grieve over the things I've lost –
my health, my loved ones, my peace of mind.
(But, take this, oh enemy of mine!!)
YET I still dare to hope
(beyond evidence to the contrary).
No, I will not give in or give up.
Because I remember this,
(and it is more than enough):
The Lord is faithful,
and His love never ends.
His merciful ways
and His gracious treatment of me
His faithfulness is GREAT, just as He is!
I get a new chance to love Him,
to follow Him, to obey Him,
to be washed in the mercy
of His redeeming forgiveness,
and freed from the penalty
of my sins.
Life might strive to ruin me,
YET I will hang on to hope
in my faith-full God!"
Yeah, it's a war cry.
And today, though downtrodden and weak and fearful and tired…
I'm feeling like a warrior.
Today, I will still dare to hold on to hope…
For faith is found in the word – YET…
(I'm raising my fist high as I shout it!!)
Will you join me?
You will be secure, because there is hope.
You will look about you and take your rest in safety.
You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid.
"I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks."
"Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
YET I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!"
(Habakkuk 3:17-18, NLT)
Fill in the blank with your tough struggle, your suffering, your despair, your loss (your "whatever-it-is" that brings you down)…and then claim the victory!
Though I _________, YET I will still dare to hope.
(Loved this definition of FAITH: "The leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness..." 2 Timothy 1:5
From The Amplified Bible, latest copyright, 1987)
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Laura at PLAYDATES WITH GOD
Hazel at TELL ME A TRUE STORY
Jen at SOLI DEO GLORIA
Jen at UNITE
Kasey at WALKING REDEEMED
Rachel at WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAY
Rosilind at A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS
Judith at WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY
Beth at THREE WORD WEDNESDAY
Jenifer at WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Lyli at THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY
Bonnie at FAITH BARISTA JAM
Crystal at THRIVING THURSDAY
Julie at FELLOWSHIP FRIDAY
Laura at FAITH FILLED FRIDAY
Mel at ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS
Wanda at THE FRIDAY FIVE
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
Sandy at STILL SATURDAY
Barbie at WEEKEND BREW
Janis at SUNDAY STILLNESS
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"