One moment I was living on top of the world and in what seemed like a flash I found myself standing on what appeared to be the edge of the abyss.
All joy felt as though it had been drained out of me. My smile seemed forever lost. I couldn't eat or sleep and could hardly form a thought worth thinking. I tried to slap on a smile but could not find one lying around.
I desired to sleep both day and night but rest could not be found. It was as if the world had gone from beautiful vivid colors of reds and purples to a shade of cold misty blue. I felt lost in this far away place not knowing what to do.
My Christian friends seemed distant and aloof but then again I was equally distant, too. I was very frightened by what I felt as it was out of character for me, and all I could think about was getting back to the place that I had been before everything turned blue.
The dictionary defines "the blues" as: melancholy, gloomy, low spirits, feelings of deep unhappiness. We all suffer from "the blues" from time to time. When we do here are some of the questions that we often ask ourselves. After all why not talk to ourselves when we feel like we are losing our minds already?
- Why is this happening to me?
- Is there sin in my life?
- Will I always be this miserable?
- Have I always been this way?
- What are people saying about me?
- How can I fix this?
- What am I doing wrong?
- Have I ever done anything right?
- Has anyone I know ever gone through this?
- Does God give a rip?
Christians are wonderful people gifted in many ways but, at times, we are terrible investigators. Not only do we ask the wrong questions. We miss very important clues. That is one reason why so often when we or someone else we know fail to produce anything other than a GRIN (and also one of the reasons so many of us wear fake smiles) we immediately run down our mental list of "suspects" and jump to wrong conclusions.
Melancholy, low spirits, unhappiness--the culprit must be sin. Case closed. But hold on a minute with this "Christian cop" business, please. Let's at least take a few moments to more fully research the evidence and review other cases before making a "citizen's arrest."
There was a godly woman who by the name of "Hannah" who seemed to struggle with "the blues" as the story in First Samuel 1 Chapter 1:5-8 so aptly tells. She had no appetite and felt anguish each year when she traveled with her husband to worship in Shiloh. She was barren and the trip brought this depressing fact "home" to her annually.
Hannah continued to go and worship God but was unable to do a "happy dance." Having gone on this journey year after year her circumstance was not unknown. Yet despite all of the clues the spiritual leadership accused her of drunken and disorderly misconduct! Apparently Eli was not the sharpest tool in the shed.
However, before we are too tough on Eli let's ask ourselves a question. How often do we act the same way? I believe it is something called "being judgmental" and we are often guilty of it.
We miss the "clues" and have no time for further investigation so when we see someone with "the blues" so label it a sin. After all it brings disorder to our lives when others don't behave the way we want them to.
I am not sure we realize how much pain our labels cause people. A person with a temporary case of "the blues" can be pushed to a place of "depression" by our clueless attitudes. Not only can we do this to each other–we can push ourselves there needlessly.
If we do not pick up the "blues clues" we can be pretty hard on ourselves and instead of taking a slow voyage back to a place I will call "normalcy" we can send ourselves to places we did not need to go.
The slow voyage back to "normalcy" is not meant to be taken alone. Although I am not a big fan of musical artist Elton John (you can leave comments about my musical taste--I reserve the right to ignore them) but there is a line in one of his songs that ring clear to me on the subject:
I guess that's why they call it the blues. Time on my hands could be time spend with you." Bernie Taupin
I know I pulled the line out of context but it is still valid to the subject. We tend to pull away from everyone when things are not going well--including God. We find ourselves with time on our hands but what do we do with it?
Do we spend it ruminating in an attempt to become the answer to our problems or spending it with the answer Himself? Each one of us must answer the question for ourselves but one of the keys to escaping "the blues" is what we do with our time and whom we choose to spend it with.
If you are feeling down don't allow it to keep you away from God. He understands every emotion that is common to man. He won't reject you. As a matter-of-fact His arms are open wide to receive you. He's already issued an invitation.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28
When no one else knows how you feel and you can't make heads or tails of it--Jesus can. His arms are the very place where you will be safe and secure until you arrive again back at the place where your world changes from misty shades of blue into the lively colors of life.
I deal with "the blues" from time to time. Right now is one of those times. I have been there before and will probably be there again.
I've found music to be a wonderful instrument of healing and so needed during "the blues." Historically musicians wrote songs to lament their sad situations. Another place from which the phrase "the blues" was coined.
Just as Saul found relief from torment as David strummed his harp I find relief by listening to music as well as ministering to the Lord in praise and worship. After all, He is worthy regardless of how I feel.
I find this song to be a comfort to me and pray that it will minister to you as well.