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The Blues

I read that it was Blue Monday two days ago. I didn’t know Blue Monday was a thing.

As far as musical genres go, I like the blues.

Those two sentences are not necessarily related. Whether you feel blue or like the blues, please keep reading.

Blue Monday? Some psychologist decided that the third Monday of January is the perfect storm of issues in our lives causing disappointment, sadness, or even depression.

By that time of January, new year’s resolutions have failed. Credit card debt from Christmas is raising its ugly head. A few pounds gained on holiday treats have not yet disappeared. The weather is typically colder and the skies are darker. I could go on, but you get the point.

The blues? I like listening to the blues because they stir me. Sometimes it is the lyrics. Sometimes it is the melancholy nature of the melody. Or the choice of instruments.

Many musical historians credit the blues with originating in the oral tradition of African American work songs and spirituals. Real life resonates with me. I find myself feeling understood when someone speaks truthfully about the twists and turns of life in a broken world.

If we were to think more deeply about the blues, we might realize how one scribe described them, “Blues songs were centered around the pain of loss and injustice but also expressed the victory in outlasting these painful experiences” (Lucy Chaudhuri, BBC Music Magazine, Oct. 10, 2021).

Maybe that is why I like the blues. In their original state, they acknowledged the brokenness of life but pointed to a day of wholeness. As a follower of Jesus, I can acknowledge how hard it is to stand upright in a fallen world but gladly know that He will one day make me complete.

Life is messy. Life can be painful. Life is not fair. Life has consequences. Jeremiah knew that when he lamented the sad state of Jerusalem. He was having a Blue Monday.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
~ Lamentations 3:21-24 (ESV)

You might say that he sang the blues. You might be singing the blues as well. That is normal. That is true. But that is not all that is true. Even though life is tough, our victory is in the all-sufficient grace of Jesus. May you experience the power of His presence today.

Love and blessings,

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