A big, beautiful, broken mess


I recently had the privilege to attend a church service at Hillsong in New York City. What an amazing experience! My wife and I were able to join thousands of people worshiping God in the middle of Manhattan at a theater in the heart of Times Square. As you can probably imagine, the congregation was extremely diverse, and not what most people would consider “polished”. In other words, it didn’t reflect what the average person probably thinks of when they think of a church.

At the front of the stage, there were a bunch of young kids, probably teenagers, jumping up and down during worship like they were at a rock concert. In the back, there were middle aged couples gently lifting their hands and softly singing songs of praise to God. People from all different races, economic status, marital status, religious experience, etc. were all joining together to praise Jesus Christ. It wasn’t some beautiful, harmonious worship service. It was jumbled, it was messy, and it was raw. However, I couldn’t help but notice the beauty in it. All I could think when I looked across the sanctuary was, “What a big, beautiful, broken mess.”

A mess may sound like a negative word, but God doesn’t look at a mess and see it the way that we do. God looks at a mess and sees opportunity. We may look at a messy situation and think that cleaning it up seems impossible, but impossible doesn’t register with God. With God, all things are possible. Thousands of years ago, God looked down and saw the biggest mess imaginable. A mess so big that we as human beings do not have the mental capacity to completely comprehend it. Humanity had fallen so far away from what the creator had designed us for. We were lost in our brokenness and sin, and falling further away from God every day. The outlook was not favorable. Through human eyes, fixing it would have seemed impossible. But through God’s eyes, He saw an opportunity to show His love for us in the most extravagant way we would ever see. He saw an opportunity to come down into the mess with us, and sacrifice Himself to save us.

So as I sat there staring down at that big, beautiful, mess of people from all different walks of life, potentially bound up in all different types of sins, and probably fighting through numerous hardships and struggles, I thought, “We came to the right place.” We came to the place where Jesus would be, and where the Holy Spirit obviously was. All of those people were passionately crying out to their savior. They weren’t crying out because they had finally reached a point where they had earned the right of being in His presence. They were crying out because their eyes had been opened to the fact that they didn’t have to be perfect to come into His presence. They were able to experience why the gospel is referred to as the good news, because it doesn’t require anything of us but belief. It simply requires that we believe that God is a good God who loves us unconditionally, and who runs towards us, not away from us, in the moments of our greatest brokenness. Their eyes were opened to the fact that we are ALL a part of this big, beautiful, broken mess of humanity, and God’s love is never more real to us than when we experience it in the midst of our brokenness.

I don’t know what situation you are facing right now. I don’t know what part of your life may feel broken and beyond repair. But I do know that no situation is too broken for our God. Nothing is beyond repair. I think we can safely say that the bigger the mess, the bigger the miracle He can use to clean it up. A bigger mess is just a greater opportunity for God to be glorified. Whatever you are fighting through, give it up to God. Stop trying to clean up your mess with your own worldly mop and broom when it requires God’s supernatural cleaning supplies. Lay that mess down at His feet, submit it to His will, and allow Him to help you clean it up. Then God can use that big, beautiful broken mess to glorify Himself and bring hope to other people.


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12: 9).


Written by Brian Maisch

I have a heart for setting people free from spiritual bondage and world oppression. I believe that the radical love of God manifested through his people can transform the world, and I believe that journey begins with us on our knees in a place of humble submission to God’s will.

2 thoughts on “A big, beautiful, broken mess

  1. Love thinking about people from all walks being welcomed to worship all together in one big melting pot. Sounds a lot like heaven to me.

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