BRADY COLUMN: On Top of the Blues
Published 9:30 am Friday, January 27, 2023
Have you ever wondered why the feeling of low spirits is called “the blues?” I have. You see, blue is simply an awesome color. When I think of blue, I think of the beauty of a clear sky. I think of pretty blue eyes. I recall the song, “My Blue Heaven.” So it is difficult for me to connect blue with the “dumps.” Yet I realize the state is real. Who of us is not familiar with “the blues? Certainly not all of us are familiar with them to the same degree, but all of us are familiar with them. We all have our ups and downs, our smooth days and our rough days. Every one of us gets depressed at times.
What are “the blues?” The dictionary defines them as “sadness gloominess, low spirits.” Scott Peck identified depression as “the emotional side of despair. The intellectual side being cynicism.” Whatever depression is we have the feeling of being down. The prophet Elijah was depressed and had a good case of “the blues.” He had just defeated the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Almost before he had time to celebrate, his life was threatened by an infuriated Queen Jezebel. Fearing for his life, Elijah ran for his life and hid in a cave. Almost needless to say, Elijah had a full-grown case of “the blues.” At this point, an angel (symbol of God’s presence) came to Elijah and advised. And it is these same insights that God would share with us today.
First, look after your body! The first thing God did for the depressed Elijah was very practical. Elijah was told to “rise and eat.” It was only after Elijah’s physical needs were dealt with that God dealt with his depression.
Second, remember that your present mood is only temporary! When I Iived in Texas they had a saying about the weather, “If you don’t like it, wait a minute, it’ll change.” The key point here is “wait a minute.” No matter how you currently feel, wait a minute. Your mood is only temporary.
Third, share with somebody! Elijah was given the privilege of talking about his depression — “to sort of clear the air.” “Why are you here, asked God. Elijah explained that he was despondent and left his post of duty because he alone had been faithful to God and now his life was in danger. Of course, he later understood differently.
Fourth, do something for somebody else! In the midst of his depression, God sent Elijah back into the world to be a prophet and to help others.
Fifth, renew your relationship with God! The most important thing God did for Elijah, to enable him to rise above his depression, was to give him a fresh vision of who God was and is, as God. Reeling with the blues, Elijah probably wondered if God was coming to him at all. Then in a moment of time it happened! Elijah heard a “still small voice” and God confirmed his presence. When John Claypool, Baptist minister, lost his eight-year-old daughter to leukemia, someone asked him if God really made a difference at a time like that?” Dr. Claypool answered, “Not with soaring ecstasy or energetic activism, but with quiet endurance.” So regardless of our circumstances, God comes to deliver us from “the blues.” Renew your relationship with God!