Being the music lover that I am, I'm surprised it took me so long to appreciate the genre called "The Blues". Maybe I had to have a few years under my belt (I'll be 50 this year), but there are others who have appreciated this style of music that are much younger than me. Some of them even play it (Johnny Lang comes to mind), so it's not a matter of age...it's more a matter of feeling...of life experiences. The blues conveys emotions that no other music form does...at least to me.
As a christian, trying to find christian blues music seems like an exersize in futility. I mean, Jesus brings us abundant life, right? He brings us blessings, and a cheery outlook on all things, correct?
Well, Jesus did give me life, and life abudnantly! He has given me peace! He has given me joy! He has given me mercy! He has given me grace! He has given me Himself!
But I still live in a fallen world. And sometimes this world gives me the blues. As I type this it is 8:55 pm. I normally have bible study at our church on Weds. nights, but tonight I am home taking care of a sick wife, and two sick children. My wife has been sick all week, and so has my son. My daughter just got hit by the flu bug last night. They are all feeling yucky!
Seeing those that I love suffer from sickness, which is a result of nothing more than contracting some unknown flu virus makes me blue. It also makes me angry, not angry at them, but angry at sin and the devil, and longing for the day when Jesus comes back and makes all things right. So I guess it was great that I was reading in the Psalms today.
You're probably thinking that I'm now going to share how I read some of the Psalms and they talked of how great and mighty the Lord is and how wonderful He is, and that "picked" me up. Well, yes and no.
Actually, here is some of what I read in the Psalms today:
Psalm 12:1-4 (New International Version)
1 Help, LORD, for the godly are no more;
the faithful have vanished from among men.
2 Everyone lies to his neighbor;
their flattering lips speak with deception.
3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue
4 that says, "We will triumph with our tongues;
we own our lips—who is our master?"
Ummmm...not exactly uplifiting.
Then there was this one:
Psalm 13:1-4 (New International Version)
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall
Ouch! Not exactly Sunday morning praise and worship time!
Today's readings reminded me that the Psalms are not all rah-rah songs for the Lord. They deal with real people, going through real issues, feeling real feelings....and not all of them are "good" feelings.
So, although the Psalms I read were not "cheery, pick-me-up and make me wanna shout" psalms, they still made me feel better about the blues I was goin' through. I felt better simply because I was reminded that I was not alone in my blues.
And then, there were these verses in the same chapters:
Psalm 12:7 O LORD, you will keep us safe
and protect us from such people forever.
and this one:
Psalm 13:5-6 (New International Version)
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.
Like the psalmist, I too know that even though I'm going through the blues right now, I know that tomorrow is another day. I know that ultimately God is in control. I know that I can trust in the Lord, and my heart does rejoice in the salvation that is mine through Jesus.
So, my recomendation for the blues: Read the Psalms.
And then put on some music by Darrell Mansfield & Glenn Kaiser (and if you don't know who they are, they are some of the best, if not THE BEST Christian blues artists around...and if you want to sample some of their tunes, let me know)
Oh, and if anyone from church reads this....how was it tonight? I missed you all, and spent some time in prayer for you.
Ok, so there's that.