When You Have A Case Of The Blues

 Life got you down?  Sometimes our circumstances can make us feel so separated and alone, but "there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother"....(Proverbs 18:24b)

Life got you down?  Sometimes our circumstances can make us feel so separated and alone, but "there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother"....(Proverbs 18:24b)

When you have a case of the blues it is easy to feel all alone.  It can be overwhelming, and appear to be an insurmountable position.  The truth is, as so aptly stated in Proverbs 18:24, "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."  Grief, regardless of its origen, is a condition that causes us to look inward and to become introspective. This turning inward can be a fruitful, or destructive, time for each of us.  

 Negotiating life's natural ups and downs is what gives richness and contrast to our every day lives.  You and I would not appreciate the sun so much if we had no darkness (cloudy days and nighttime) to provide contrast.  The same can be said of our emotional state of mind.  King David, who God calls 'a man after my own heart' poured out his cases of the blues to God.  Starting in Psalm 3, "O LORD, how many are my foes?  How many rise up against me!  Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him.'  (Psalm 3:1-2)  

David is really feeling the blues in Psalm 6:1-7;

"O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled;
But You, O Lord—how long?

Return, O Lord, deliver me!
Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
For in death there is no remembrance of You;
In the grave who will give You thanks?

I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
It grows old because of all my enemies."

And again in Psalm 13, we see David crying out to the LORD;

"How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me."

As I have read the Psalms over the years, I have grown in my respect for David, and my love for God.  David felt free to sing his blues, and his praise to God.  He didn't put a nice spin on it....he was REAL!  I absolutely LOVE this.  It gives me courage to also be real with God.  I can cry out in pain, grief, anger, disbelief, joy, love and any other emotion freely to my God.  

Do you get it?  We have the freedom to be real.  When we are real, then all of our struggles seem to work themselves out better.  You and I are LOVED.  There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother/sister at our disposal all the time.  In the middle of the night.  In the bleakest of circumstances.  In the solitary moments of agony...and joy.  You and I are not alone.

Each of us has faced hard circumstances, or will, at different points in our lives.  There will be times when we feel all alone.  When life seems to be crushing us under.  Even moments when hope seems lost - but it is not.  We have a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  We have freedom to cry out to the creator of all that is....we just need to act on this belief and then hold on.  Help is on the way.  

James reminds us, in James 1:2-3, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."  Hard times produce a sweetness within us, if we hang on and persevere.  Compassion is born of hard times.  When I was young, in junior high and high school, I really wasn't very compassionate.  I kind of just looked at people's struggles and inside was thinking they should just 'get over it.'  

As I have grown older, however, I have faced some very hard circumstances.  I wasn't able to just 'get over it' easily.  You know what has happened?  I have developed a very compassionate heart for others who are struggling.  You can't have one without the other.  As Paul says, In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God."  Amen!

I am a product of this.  My heart was tried, stretched and then grew so that I now want to comfort others like I was comforted.  I want to give back.  That is what hanging on during our cases of the blues can accomplish in us, and it is beautiful.  So my encouragement to those who are struggling is to persevere.  Hang on.  Reach out to others.  Believe in God's ability to get you comforted through to the other side where you can then turn and help someone else.

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