On the Brink of Blue Monday

blue mondayI know it’s Friday, and I don’t want to throw you into a pit of despair at the crest of a weekend, but **WARNING** the up and coming Monday has been dubbed “Blue Monday” It’s been called that since January 24, 2005 by someone with far too much time on their hands, and a mathematical mind to set up an equation that would determine what day of the year that would be. Determining factors were weather conditions, debt level, holidays passing, failing New Year’s resolutions and the need to take action. And as silly as it may seem I am here to attest that mid-winter blues can just about do me in if I don’t get a handle on it. Depression is a very real emotion and it matters not if you are in church or out, you can just as easily fall victim to it if you’re prone. And I am. I have this great ability to fool folks into thinking my life is candy and roses even on days that it’s asparagus and liver. Both of which I find disgusting; just in case you were one of those people that went “that’s what I’m having for lunch!”

I tackle depression with busyness and it’s for the most part successful. But, if I’m honest it’s also a way for me not to deal with the matters at hand that cause me to go into depression in the first place. Can you identify? I feel like I need to insert a disclaimer here that says:

“Hello, my name is Shari, and like the objects in your car side mirror, I may not be as I appear.”

I had a mild meltdown in my teen class on Wednesday while teaching a lesson on suicide because one such tragedy had occurred with a local teenager this week. I just felt so doggone helpless with them. I wanted to offer them answers and peace about life and I just couldn’t. All I could do was show Bible truths of what the word of God says to do in times of frustration. And as always it was enough.  I used the scripture in Acts 16:25-34

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.  And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Paul and Silas had been beaten and thrown in jail for serving Jesus. That’s a Blue Monday right there! But through the power of the Holy Spirit, hearing their songs and prayers the prison was shaken and every prisoner was set free! Glory to God there is power in music when it’s used for the glory of God.

But one person’s freedom can be a deterrent to the happiness of someone else. It can very easily cause people to focus on what they lack, rather than what they have that is praise worthy. It can magnify heartache, especially in the hearts of those who feel as though they’ve lost all hope. Like the prison guard, who was relatively sure he would lose not only his job but his life too because of the freed prisoners. But Paul stepped up and the prisoners stayed put and the jailer was saved and all his house. All because, someone, in the middle of blue Monday chose to sing, rather than flee from captivity. Paul used his imprisonment to minister to others who needed to see Jesus.

Are you struggling with mid-winter blues? Sing a song. Share Jesus. Best prescription ever!

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