Encouragement for the Encumbered

Do you know what it means to be encumbered?

Webster defines it as being burdened or weighed down.  It can also mean to impede or hamper a function or activity.

Have you ever experienced this feeling?  Do you know what it is like to feel burdened or weighed down?  Are there things in your life that feel like they are getting in the way or impeding that which you really long to do?

I have.  In fact, it feels like I have been swimming upstream, against the current, in the encumbered river lately.  I’m tired.  I’m weary.  I’m frustrated.  I’m spent.  I’m exhausted.  I’m annoyed.  I’m busy.  I have not been doing the things I deeply long to do.  My writing has suffered.  My relationships are not as vibrant.  Run, run, rush, rush.

Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”  

Yes, my days feel like they are just evil!

Ok, that’s a little harsh, but isn’t it easy to feel that way when we are encumbered.  The frustration seems to be too much and the negative aggressively tries to crowd out the positive.  The emotions and the feelings that go along with it seems too much to handle.

You are not alone.  I’m right there with you.  This is not new to us.  Paul wrote these words so very long ago.  Don’t worry, he didn’t leave us hanging.  His writing continued on,

“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:17-20

Isn’t it amazing that Paul mentions all three parts of the Trinity in just a few short verses.  He encourages us to depend upon a God that fills us, provides for us and  is there for us in every way that we can image and more ways that we are oblivious to.

As I read Paul’s writing this morning, I ponder the gift of giving thanks through song.  Singing music in my heart, always giving thanks.  I am down to a verse that I have been mulling over for a few weeks now, Psalm 42:8, “By day the LORD directs His love, at night His song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.”

Song.  Prayer.  Thanksgiving.  The singing of my heart does all three.  Wow!

I can not take the credit for any of it.  For the Psalmist says the Lord directs His love.  He conducts.  He composes.  He writes.  It is His song that He gives to us, requesting that we be a part of His beautiful symphony.  We each have a piece.  A portion that was uniquely designed for us and for us alone.  How awesome is that!

This can be an intimidating thought for me.  I’m musically challenged, yet I love music so much.  I sing.  In the car.  While I’m doing chores.  I can even be found humming at work.  I’m really sorry if it has bothered my co-workers, sometimes I don’t realize I’m doing it.  I long to be a part of this great orchestra, but part of me is really afraid.  What about all my mistakes.  Somebody is eventually going to figure out that I don’t have a clue what I am doing.

That is where God comes in.  He knows.  He knows how horribly out of tune I am.  He knows all of the mistakes – made and yet to be made.  He loves me all the same.  Just like He loves you.

God has a song for you.  It’s a tune especially for your heart.  He wants you to sing it loudly.  He wants you to dance to it, abandoned like a child.  He longs for you to carry it with you.  It will help to break the cycle you are encumbered in.  It will draw you closer to Him and so that you can experience a greater portion of His love for you.

If you are unsure of your song, or if you feel as if you have forgotten the tune, simply ask God to renew it in your heart.

Dearest Lord,

Thank You so much for the opportunity to be with You this morning.  Thank you for the song that You have placed in all of us.  Thank You for the precious planning that went into this beautiful masterpiece. 

Lord, I lift up to You all of those who feel encumbered by life right now.  I pray for our frustrations, our weariness, our strains and our stresses.  Help us to offer them all up to You and to feel the burden to be eased by Your comfort and Your direction.  

Please bless each of my dear and beloved readers with a song in their hearts that they can sing with all they have.  In Jesus’ Holy name, amen.  


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