Yada Yada Yada…The Best Response to Life and the Holidays by Ann Voskamp

I found this at Ann Voskamp’s blog “A Holy Experience”. It is so beautifully written, so timely and so needed as we enter this time of year.

And yadah, it’s Hebrew, and it literally means to hold out the hand in four ways:

1. to bemoan with this wringing of hands.

2. or to revere with an extending of hands.

And this too on the page of the Strong’s Concordance:

3. Yadah means to confess.

4. Yadah means to give thanks.

Yadah –   the whisper of Psalms 92:1:

It is a good thing to [yada] — give thanks – and sing praises to unto thy name, O most High.”

It is a good thing to yada: in the midst of the wringing of hands, to extend the hand.

It is a good thing to yada: hold out the hand — not as a fist to God, but in praise to God.

It is a good thing to yada: give thanks — to brazenly confess that God is wholly good though the world is horribly not.

You hear it — this scoffing yada, yada, yada — as if much and everywhere is banal, this aching meaninglessness that drones on and on.

And in the midst of genocides and suicides, the divorce and disease, the death and dark, we understand the yada all around us,  the holding up of fists at God instead of extending the hand in thanks and we empathize with the unbeliever’s confusion, because it’s our own confusion, and in this struggle to be grateful to God for always and for everything, we pray with humble earnestness for the unbeliever: because before a Good God haven’t we all been been momentary unbelievers?

And yet there it is, and you hear it now, at the cusp of the feasting, the yada, yada, yada, that sings relentless and bold:

We won’t stop confessing He is good and we won’t stop thanking Him for grace and we won’t stop holding out our hands — and taking His hand. We won’t stop believing that “God is good”is not some trite quip for the good days but a radical defiant cry for the terrible days.

That “God is good” is not a stale one-liner when all’s  happy but a saving lifeline when all’s hard.

And we will keep giving thanks, yada, yada, yada, because giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God.

I’m holding the squash in hand. That’s what the mother had said standing there in her tsunami of grief: “I believe God is good. I believe that is all there really is.”

And every time I give thanks, I confess to the universe the goodness of God. I had touched her hand.

She had said it, her eyes so clear, like you could see straight into her, into all that remains.

The morning fog ebbs across harvested fields.

Thanksgiving in all things accepts the deep mystery of God through everything.

And there will be bowed heads around all the tables.

And there will be lights flickering brave to burn back the black, and there will be a believing in relentless redemption and a reaching out and around of all these hands,  reaching out in thisyada, yada, yada, this steady confessing of the goodness of God — come whatever.

And there are leaves fallen frosted across the lawn.

Their confession glinting on and on….


2 thoughts on “Yada Yada Yada…The Best Response to Life and the Holidays by Ann Voskamp

Add yours

  1. I’ve had the immense pleasure of writing alongside Ann a time or two at Dayspring. Her writing NEVER disappoints! This was one of my favorite posts of hers for the entire year.

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