Daily Dose, Sept. 11 — Singing the Blues

  A Psalm. A Song at the dedication of the temple. Of David. I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By your favor, O Lord, had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed. To you, O Lord, I cried, and to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!” You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever. (Psalm 30) Yesterday, I wrote about music. Today, I’m writing about music again…sort of. Our Scripture reading for today is actually a song. The Psalms are the songbook that Jesus himself knew and that generations before him would learn, sing and recite together. For portions of my career in ministry, I served on church staff as a worship leader. Sometimes it was conducting and leading a choir, and other times it was strapping on my guitar and stepping up to a microphone. One of the contemporary worship songs that I led a lot during that period is called “Trading My Sorrows.” The lyrics come from several different Scripture references, but Psalm 30 is a primary source. There are times in my life since then when the simple lyric -- “I’m trading my sorrows” -- floats back into my mind. When we trade something, it usually means that we are making a deliberate choice. It’s an exchange, and it usually involves an exchange of something for another thing that we perceive to be more valuable. And so, when I find myself downcast or troubled, I sometimes am reminded that I do have a choice. I can choose to trade my sorrows for something different…something of greater value. I can choose to exchange my defeat and “the blues” for something different that God can offer. My sorrow may last for a night, but there is an unspeakable joy that can come in the morning. Whether we reach out for that gift of joy is often a choice that we make. What choice will you make today? Will you choose to trade your sorrows and exchange them for something better, something more valuable and beneficial? -- Rev. Brad Greene