In the summer& fall of 2018, God took me through a journey in the Psalms of David. David has always amazed me. He became an influential and powerful king and now, thousands of years later, people still tell his story & read his words. However, David also dealt with some of the most unfair circumstances. Even after defeating a giant with just a stone and ripping a lion apart with his bare hands, he was still passed over by family and leaders as being too small, scrawny, and insignificant to be of use. And that was just in his teen years! If you’ve never read the story of David (starts in 1 Samuel 16), you really ought to check it out – totally worth the read.
Anyway, David knew what it meant to be “brutally honest” with God; He did not sugar coat how he felt or what he thought. He asked hard questions, and asked them just the way he felt about them – “Have you forgotten me?” “Do you not care that my enemies attack me?” “Is it really okay with you if evil triumphs?” “How long will you turn your back on me?” He didn’t just tell God he was hurt – he accused him.
Even with all these strong emotions and hard questions, what amazed me most is that David also comes back around to a hopeful point of view, reminding himself of the truth he knows even while he feels the opposite. After he rants and rages at God in each Psalm, he’d say something to this effect: AND YET. “Yet I know you are for me.” “You have never forsaken me.” “My God is my refuge and strength – always present to help me.”
Prior to leaving for a songwriting retreat on Oct. of 2018, my good friend Chad, a man I’d come quickly to love and admire (if you knew him, you know why!) and who had also recently joined our staff at church, found out he had esophageal cancer. That cancer had also metastasized and was all throughout his body. The doctor’s gave him 6 months to a year. I was a youth pastor at the time, and two of his three kids were in my student ministry while the youngest wasn’t even in kindergarten yet.
My aching for Chad & his family was still stirring in my heart when I arrived at the retreat in Nashville, TN. Each day we were partnered up with other writers, and one of those sessions is where the song “And Yet” was completed. Though I had already started writing this song, it found its final form with the help of Jonathan Turner (you can find him on all music platforms, including his own arrangement of this song!), and long-time bassist for Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves.
In our session, Jesse asked us the poignant question, “What do the people at your church need to sing?” As we thought about David & his psalms and Chad – what he and his family might be feeling – and of all those in the world who, like David, feel hurt, forgotten, and abandoned, we came up with these words:
So if you’re in a hard time right now, if maybe you’re feeling deeply the unfairness of life or the pain of loss, you’re not alone in your hurt. We feel it deeply. And yet…
Chad passed on December 23rd, 2019. He only lived a little over a year longer after this song was written, but I know he is living in the reality where “and yet” is already and will always be.
May you find the strength to hold on to the hope that “yet” is here already and still to come.
– lauren aleece