As I write these words at the beginning of February, we’re now passed the allegedly most depressing day of the year. The third Monday of January – Blue Monday, the 19th this year – is now suggested as being the worst day on the calendar. A combination of obvious factors (weather conditions, dark morning/evenings, post-Christmas-blues, January’s credit-card-statement and the widespread antipathy towards Mondays generally) has led to the conclusion that the 3rd Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year.
It’s probably not without significance that this analysis was paid for by a travel company – who may have more than a little interest in making us feel depressed with the thought of dark, cold, dreary lives, and longing for something warmer, brighter and all-inclusive at some beach resort in some exotic location!
But it got me thinking that we’d do much better to take seriously the Scriptural view of the days of our lives, given us by the psalmist (Ps.118:24):
“This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Yes, rejoice – even on Mondays in January!
Every day is a gift from God, filled with opportunity to praise him and serve him and, in Jesus’ name, to serve others.
Yes, there may be struggles to face, obstacles to be overcome, issues to be resolved.
Yes, there may be unexpected set-backs to be coped with.
But even amidst all the difficulties and perplexities of life – the expected and unexpected ones – we can continue to rejoice and be glad.
Because of the joy of salvation.
Psalm 118 is, in fact, a celebration of some deliverance God’s people had received, and anticipates the later, greater deliverance of God’s people through Christ (the stone the builders had rejected, but which became the capstone).
Jesus said that he came to bring life – and not just any old life but life to the full (the life more abundant), John 10:10. And this is what he offers to all. A life that begins by coming to the cross in humble trust, seeking forgiveness and the restoring of our relationship with God that our sin had ruined. And then a life that continues day-by-day, living this life-more-abundant in which we have peace and assurance, security and certainty.
This life – that comes through a real, living relationship with God through Christ – is what transforms daily life, so that EVERY day (yes, even the Mondays in January!) comes to have meaning and significance.
The psalmist also tells us that “all the days ordained for me were written in [God’s] book before one of them came to be.” So rejoice in each day as being the gift of God, another 24-hour opportunity to serve him gladly – and make the most of every day you’re given.