In the podcast episode On the Road with Crowder, prior host at Life 96.5, Ryan Nissley had the chance to chat with Christian music artist, Crowder, and the two talked new music, humor, and the importance of laying down your burdens.

Crowder’s unique sound has had a profound impact on contemporary worship music. David Crowder grew up moving all across the South, but it was the city of Texarkana that deeply shaped him. As a kid, he was free to roam, biking through the woods, playing with pellet guns, and building forts. His parents typically didn’t know where he was until he came home at night.

Crowder feels that the creative freedom he experienced in Texarkana was the stepping stone for many of his ideas and the growth of his creativity as a songwriter and musician. He said, “I love that when you’re laughing, when you’re engaged in something playful and childlike, all your inhibitions are gone.”

That same freedom from inhibition is what makes a good sense of humor so important to Crowder. In fact, humor is one of the traits he’s best known for.

Crowder uses his sense of humor on his social media channels, which have gained a large following.

“It’s just so heavy out there in the social world,” Crowder said, “and so we’re just trying to keep a smile on the face, a lightness in your step, and this is the easy way to do it.” We certainly needed humorous entertainment and music throughout the pandemic, and Crowder delivered both.

Crowder said he didn’t get his sense of humor from his parents, however. “No, no, no! My parents are so not funny,” he said, telling the story of how one Christmas, his dad, rather than giving him the jambox he desired, wrapped actual jam in a box and gave it to him. “So no,” Crowder said, “They’re not funny.”

Like much of the music released in recent months, “Good God Almighty” was a product of the pandemic. Crowder described how the sense of looming heaviness was easy to see and feel during the pandemic. We were all forced to face emotions bubbling just under the surface. For him, the easy part of writing the song was finding the words to describe the heavy, difficult emotions, because the whole community was feeling them.

What was hard for him was finding a sense of direction to form the song. God can bring beauty from ashes and redeem truly horrible circumstances, but seeing the light in something as dark as a pandemic was extremely difficult.

Sometimes, to trust God, we need to remember how He has kept each promise to us in the past, and this is what Crowder did to find the hope in this song’s message. It’s hard to think about the times you’ve cried out to God for help because those memories are often dark, but looking back on His faithfulness shows us that our cries do not go unanswered. The song begins:

Good God Almighty I hope You’ll find me
Praising Your Name no matter what comes
I can’t count the times I’ve called Your name some broken night
And You showed up and patched me up like You do every time
I get amnesia, I forget that You keep coming around
Yeah, ain’t no way You’ll ever let me down
(Crowder, “Good God Almighty”).

Ryan and Crowder go on to talk about “In the House,” a song that joins “Good God Almighty” on Crowder’s new album Milk & Honey. It was the first song the band wrote for the album, and it was meant to be the guide for the album’s overall sound.

Crowder and the band spent a lot of time curating the sounds and looking for the thematic message of this song, and Crowder is very excited about what the song turned out to be.

The song opens with a dynamic soundscape, pulling together acoustic guitar and electric pop beats, which build up to Crowder’s one-of-a-kind voice. The bridge says,

Bring your heartache, bring your burden
You can lay them down at the door
There is no fear, you belong here
Step into the house of the Lord
(Crowder, “In the House”).

Ryan brings up the fact that there are times in our lives when church is not the first place we feel comfortable going. Crowder responds with a key thought that is a major theme throughout his body of music.

What makes the church so special is not Sunday services. What makes the church special is that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, we are not so far away from the glory of God that He won’t chase after us. As humans made in the image of God, we are “known and loved by the creator of heaven and earth,” as Crowder reminds us. This message is reminiscent of “Come As You Are,” another deeply impactful Crowder track.

So, lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer, come home
You’re not too far
So, lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
(Crowder, “Come As You Are”).

This is a stirring call for us as believers. In a world in desperate need of hope, the church is meant to be the bearer of good news and deep, unending joy. While this isn’t always the way the world sees us, our calling as followers of Jesus is the same: to live in the freedom Christ has given us. As children of God, we are called to walk with a light that allows the rest of the world to see the power of Jesus in our lives.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus gave us this encouragement:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Take inspiration from Crowder’s example and walk free of inhibition. Come to Jesus, who is strong enough to take even the heaviest of burdens from our shoulders.

Stream “In the House,” “Good God Almighty,” and the rest of Milk & Honey on Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, Apple Music, iHeart, and Deezer.

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