Two of my favorite words in Scripture have come to be, and yet . . .

Often occurring after expressed loss, trials, grief or pain, they don’t delete our suffering. They don’t sweep it under the proverbial rug, mask it or cover it with gladness. Rather they acknowledge it. They give credence to it, then give hope to us.

For in the midst of our trials, God promises to be there whether we feel God or not. I will in no way ever, for any reason, in any situation desert, forsake or fail you. (Deut 32:6 and 9, Joshua 1:5)

When all else seems to point to the absence or inactivity of God, God’s Word gives hope, something to hang our faith on . . . something to stand on, to stake our lives upon.

What power in those two small, innocuous words . . . and yet.

But this week, our pastor’s bible study in the book of Mark made me pause and see those two little words in a totally different light. Though they {and yet} are not physically in the text, they might as well be.

In Mark 14:31, Peter declares his undying devotion to Jesus as he adamantly states, Even if I have to die with you {Jesus}, I will not deny you. And they all {rest of the disciples} were saying the same thing, too.

Then a mere 19 verses later, we read: And {yet} they all left {deserted} Jesus and fled.

How quickly these 11 men had committed to following Jesus. Given up and left everything they had ever known. Willingly walked into the unknown and followed Jesus, their Rabbi and teacher who had become their friend.

They had walked the dusty roads with Him. Seen Jesus teach, preach, heal, feed and love. They knew something first hand of His supernatural power, His unconditional love and His saving grace.

And yet, at this juncture of real threat, they ran for their lives. They hid. They doubted. They wondered and questioned. After the crucifixion we find them gathered together praying . . . but their adamant declaration of solidarity with Jesus was sadly lacking.

They were not standing with and for Jesus.

So I wondered, what statements of promise do I offer my Lord? What commitments do I make? With what fierce determination do I set out to serve Him?

And yet . . . how often do my words, my actions, my life not match my declarations or intentions to stand with and serve Jesus?

And yet . . . how deep the Father’s love for me, how great the grace of Jesus, and how beautiful the purposes within each of us as we seek to know and to serve our Risen Lord who will never leave, forsake or fail us.

May we all be found standing strong and unwavering in those times of and yet that surely will come . . . .