I’ve got the blues.
For more than ten years, I have been playing drums and singing in a blues band. Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of introducing some of my own original songs to our band, which have been enthusiastically included in our shows. The hard work we had put into our band was paying off and, during 2018 and 2019, we had even secured regular dates to perform two-to-three times a month.
Then, 2020 happened. All of the places where we had been performing – in fact, ALL of the places that offered live music – were closed down. The momentum we had been building suddenly came to a standstill. Now, I really had the blues!
Like 2020, the blues can strike without warning. They can be triggered by little things, like bad traffic, forgetting an appointment, or a bad hair day. The cause also can be bigger things – like sickness, injury, or loss. Whatever the cause, the blues can seem to color everything we do. This general malaise can look like depression and feel like exhaustion. It interferes with our “normal,” and keeps us from being our best.
Are you feeling a bit blue these days? You’re not alone. Like Job, you may have even had well-meaning friends try to help.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
The blues doesn’t feel like small stuff when you’re in it.
”The sun will come up tomorrow.”
Scientifically true, but not very helpful.
“All’s well that ends well.”
What if there is no end in sight?
“Time heals all wounds.”
I just don’t have any more time for platitudes.
What do we do when we have the blues?
I don’t think the blues is really a condition. I think it is our reaction to a situation that seems to be out of our control. We allow that situation to take control of our emotions and rob us of the energy we need to manage the things that are within our capability. We choose aggravation, resentment, frustration, and defeat. We choose the blues.
Choose not to have the blues.
This might seem too simplistic, but as a believer, there’s often a battle of the heart and mind that has to be won. And, it may need to be won over and over again. It’s easy to let my knee-jerk response to the blues distract me from what God’s grace has done to get me through hard times in the past, as well as what He is doing at this very minute. This defeated mindset wants to convince me that I’m incapable, unlucky, or just plain weak. I may begin to feel I’ve used up too much grace, and wonder why God would care about my blues. If I dwell on such thoughts, it can cause me to become unproductive, stagnant in growth, and cold to Christ.
I know I’m unworthy of God’s grace, but I must also remind myself that the grace He freely gives me is sufficient. I need to remember the work He has already done in me. I have to choose my attitude and renew my way of thinking daily in order to keep growing and receiving God’s grace. I need to choose not to have the blues.
It’s not about what has been done to me, but what God has done and is doing in me. When I’m feeling out of control, or those blues creep in, I need to remind myself to let God renew my mind and to bring me back in-line with Him. I can choose not to have the blues, and instead I can surrender to the One that has been in control the whole time.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
Written by Rich Silveira
Retired NCA Teacher