Summary: Faith in the resurrected Christ gives the courage to face the blues in life.
“They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday’s just as bad. They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday’s just as bad. Wednesday’s even worse; Thursday’s oh, so sad.” If you are blues fan, you recognize those lyrics written by blues guitarist T-Bone Walker.
The Blues is a genre of music born from adversity. Most historians trace its roots to slave days and Southern plantations. The Blues transcends history, though. Whether you are black or white, young or old, you understand what T-Bone Walker was getting at: life isn’t always easy.
Everybody gets the blues even believers. Job is a good example. This morning, I’d like to look at Job’s life and learn something for ourselves. What Can Believers Do When They Get the Blues? Lord-willing, we’ll answer that question as we 1) understand the cause and 2) learn to apply the cure.
As I mentioned, there is no better biblical example of someone who had the blues than Job. Job was a man who had lost everything. At one time he was rich, but then he lost all of his wealth. At one time he had 10 children, but then all of them died in an accident. At one time he was healthy, but now he was covered with sores and was slowly dying. At one time he was respected, but now he had lost his honor – everyone was talking about him. And so, as Job thought about tomorrow, he fell into the pit of despair: “They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday’s just as bad.” Job had the blues, “I have been allotted months of futility.” In other words, he felt his whole life has been one big waste of time. “When I lay down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.” Job couldn’t sleep. Physically, he was suffering too much. Psychologically, he was too depressed to sleep. “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.” Job had no hope for the future. “Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; me eyes will never see happiness again.” Perhaps that is the best picture of despair: never seeing another happy day. Job’s felt his life was one perpetually stormy day after another. He was at a point in his life where he hated to think about tomorrow.
I’m sure you’ve had your share of “stormy Mondays.” What could bring you to a point like this? Well, perhaps, like Job, you lost your entire fortune. Maybe there are rumblings at work that the boss is going downsize due to the economy, and you get the blues. Maybe, like Job, you lost a child – to bury your own son or daughter is a terrible thing. Maybe, like Job, you lost your health – you’ve become seriously ill. Or maybe, like Job, you lost your honor, your reputation – you’ve become the talk of the town, the laughingstock, because of something you said or did. Imagine if all these things happened to you at the same time. Perhaps you’d begin to overreact and think the worst. You’d fear that you’ll lose everything you own. You’d worry your life had no purpose, and you’d start to feel like you will never see happiness again. That’s more than just the “blues.” That’s near despair
We’ve all had our stormy days when the blues had us teetering precariously near the pit of despair. That’s when we get that sinking feeling that no one is there to help, not even God. Especially not God! After all, you were taught he’d never let you down and was always there holding the world in his hand. Now … now God seems to be somewhere else, far, far away. It seems he doesn’t care and can’t help. The proverbial rug has been pulled out from under your feet and you are left teetering on the verge of despair.
By now I believe we all understand the cause for the “blues.” This life is not fair. This world is not easy. Despite popular belief, we cannot just spend our way out of trouble or buy our happiness. When a believer gets the blues the first thing to do is to admit it. Don’t be surprised that this fallen world is not heaven on earth. Don’t be shocked when your own sinful flesh fails and lets you down.
Job had the blues and he admitted it. He was pouring out his heart. He expressed his grief and pain. He lamented the cause of his suffering because he realized that this life is unfair. If we can learn anything from Job it’s this: when you feel the blues, then start singing. Confess your failures. Admit your shortcomings. Realize you are a sinner in a sin-filled world. We all need to identify the cause of our problems if we are ever to address and overcome them.