“I think that there’s an onset in our lives where [we realize] the deep sadness of humanity,” Darren Mulligan, lead singer of the band We Are Messengers, said in his rich Irish accent on an episode of The Unfolding.
Although this podcast episode was recorded in 2019, the Christian music band We Are Messengers released a new single in 2021 inspired by that same thought – that the world is often full of grief and sadness. “Come What May” is certainly an anthem of hope, but the new song is also realistic:
Sometimes sorrow is the door to peace
Sometimes heartache is the gift I need
You’re faithful, faithful In all things (We Are Messengers, “Come What May”).
As Christians, we have the privilege of finding hope in the most desolate parts of our story. It is common for Christ to meet us when we are at a loss, helpless, or simply humbled. Those are the moments when we come to the cross.
“Come What May” is not a sorrowful song though. It is also a song of victory. In the joyous melody, we are reminded of the power of Christ and the hope we have in His Word.
This song might make you want to sing from a rooftop, proclaiming the beauty of a free life in Christ. Yet, we don’t always feel that joy.
So how do we find the joy that this song describes? How do we discover a joy so complete that we can feel it even in the darkest corners of our lives?
In a video about the song, Darren Mulligan recalls the stories of his parents growing up in Ireland-and an old cast-iron kettle that belonged to them.
“That kettle lay in the ground, a few hills across from our cottage, in the rubble of my father’s one-room childhood home, for many, many years.”
That kettle became an important symbol for Darren, one that helped him remember his identity.
Darren and his family explored his parents’ old home, and during that time, his father shared stories of his childhood. Darren recalled:
“My dad and my mother are steady people. Grounded. They loved their childhood, no matter how hard it may have seemed to us. They knew they belonged to parents who loved them fiercely. Who gave their lives for them. Because of that, my folks became strong, steadfast parents themselves.”
Darren’s parents were resilient people who knew that no matter what happened, they were loved and could endure it all. On the walk home from his father’s old house, Darren saw that a farmer had hung the cast-iron kettle on the tree, and Darren decided to take it with him.
Darren took the kettle home and cleaned it off. Now, it comes alive to him as it sits on the mantel in his home.
“It reminds me of where I come from, who I belong to, and that come what may, my family is going to be all right.”
Although we may not have a kettle, every time we open the Bible, take in creation, or listen to worship music, our Father reminds of us His love. He gave His life for us.
Darren didn’t always have a solid faith in Christ. In his youth, he abused alcohol and was unfaithful to his girlfriend, Heidi, who is now his wife. He was reckless, detached, and, as he stated on The Unfolding, “so selfish.”
Yet, Jesus doesn’t shy away from people like Darren. God finds us wherever we are, and He finds ways to enter our lives-no matter where we are. God used Heidi, who had recently accepted Christ, to bring Darren into church, where he eventually met God.
The recklessness that led Darren into dangerous and hurtful situations is the same recklessness that allowed him to follow Christ beyond his comfort zone and into ministry.
Darren tells The Unfolding host, Meridith Foster, “I’m able to look back on my past and know that none of it was wasted.”
The pain and discomfort of life is all worth it to know the love of the Savior. Even if we struggle to understand where we belong, even if we are reckless and rough, the Holy Spirit continually draws us to Himself.
That knowledge is where the greatest joy comes from:
There is deep joy that You give to me
Where hurt meets the healing is a holy thing
I see goodness, Your goodness In all things (We Are Messengers, “Come What May”).
In Isaiah 43, we see God speaking to His people. He reminds us that He is with us always. God revels in His Creation because He loves it. He endures our trials with us, and He smiles and laughs with us in the good times. “Come What May” is a summary of that relationship we have with Christ, a summary of our Christian life.
Our relationship with God allows us to see through the blur of pain that contaminates the world. The Holy Spirit whispers to us to trust Him. And we can trust the One who made us. We can have faith in the One who knows every hair on our heads, who knits us together.
Darren doesn’t deny the brokenness of the world. In fact, one might argue that he embraces it. The wreckage left behind by sin and sorrow is still ripe with God’s grace. Perhaps that humble state is, in fact, the most fruitful place for Christ’s Kingdom to grow.
That place, filled with both brokenness and hope, is where We Are Messengers performs. It is the place where Jesus reaches out His hands to give us freedom.
If you are in that place, there is a way to find joy. Perhaps you are finally free from that broken spot in your life, or maybe you are still struggling through it. Regardless of where you are, Life 107.1 wants to come alongside you. Text “Jesus” to 41224 if you would like guidance on how to begin a relationship with Christ today.
If you enjoy our song of the month, “Come What May,” you are sure to enjoy the music we play every day. Join the Music Team to have a say in what new music we play. Stream Life 107.1 on our website, on our app, or on the air for more songs that will give you joy, peace, and encouragement today.