If you were at church last week you heard a moving story about Randall Cunningham and Psalm 126. Psalm 126 teaches us that God is faithful to us, even in the midst of great struggles and heart aches. The psalmist promises, “Those who sow in tears, will reap in joy.” The exegesis here is overly simplistic, but the gist is this: take your hurts to God. Take your pain to God. Reinvest our seeds of discontent in the soil of God Himself, and He will work with us to make us new.
We discussed Randall Cunningham, who went from NFL hero to despair when he was benched. He found Christ and returned to the NFL to a record season and a place of joy he hadn’t known before. And then instead of winning the NFC championship and playing in his first Super Bowl, his team lost on the last second. He returned to Las Vegas where he had grown up and started a church and started baptizing people in his hot tub at his home. A year later he returned to Philly to be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame and brought his son Christian with him (picture below). Not long after, Randall returned home to find police cars and ambulances waiting for him. His beloved son Christian had drowned- in the same hot tub.
The pain of a parent who has lost a child is unspeakable. Let us just pause and sit with that for a while. I can’t offer any quick and easy explanations. But the Psalm is an encouragement here…it doesn’t explain away suffering, but offers a hope that can sustain us in our present pain.
How do we hope in Christ no matter the circumstance? How do we find solace in God’s plan when the current season is difficult and confusing? Psalm 126 teaches that God has been faithful before, and no matter our current pain, He will be faithful again. The psalm is hope, like God is saying, “Just stay with me and let Me carry you for a while when you hurt.” We don’t always know WHY things happen in life, but we can know WHO will be with us when we hurt: God. Scripture doesn’t promise a pain-free life, but it does promise a Father who will always be near to us and that a future harvest of joy awaits. The Psalm promises, “We shall come again with shouts of joy.” The best example of this? Randall’s story. Check it out below…its worth 11 minutes of your time.