Engaging the Mess of Wakefulness

Romans 15:1-7 - “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak."By: Jeremy McQuown, Executive Director, BetterDays

May 31, 2019

On the nights we are home, my wife and I have this nightly routine after dinner. It usually lasts somewhere between 1-2 hours and finishes with us sinking into the couch with our feet up. You parents of young children will understand. It starts with a rock-paper- scissors duel to determine which one cleans up the kitchen and which one gives the kids a bath. After the duel we divide and conquer. One goes to cleaning the little savages...I mean children, and the other goes to cleaning the savage mess.

After all the books have been read, prayers have been prayed, and 39 trips to get a drink of water or go to the potty have been made, lights are out and they finally go to sleep. At that point we finally reach the pinnacle of a day well lived, exhausted and ready for bed ourselves.

For the next several hours our home rests. Quiet and (mostly) clean. No mess. Until “they” are awakened again.

Awakening brings mess. Just like my house get’s messier throughout the day as each of those little eyes open to the dawn of a new day.

We’ve been praying for an awakening. We’ve been praying for the power of the Gospel of Jesus to miraculously and powerfully sweep through the city of Houston and awaken dead hearts to life.

As we continue to do so, and by all means, Lord make it happen! I want to ask us, the Church, are we ready for that? Are we ready to engage the mess that comes with wakefulness?

What I’ve realized about myself as a parent of four young children is that many days I’m not ready. I’m tired. I’m self-centered. I’m prideful. I love my children. I love playing with them. I love watching them grow and learn. It’s a joy to watch them awaken and engage life in our home. However, I don’t love stepping on legos, tripping over tiaras, or repeatedly correcting behavior. My pride makes it difficult to handle the mess.

Paul tells us in Romans 15:1 that the “strong” are called to “bear with the failings of the weak. That means we who are mature in faith, or could we say already awake, are called to be considerate and endure the mess of those just waking up.

That takes humility. That takes a continued understanding of the grace I have personally received from Jesus in dealing with my own mess.

An awakening will force us out of ourselves. It will force us to humble ourselves and patiently endure the mess, the differences, and the slow pace of spiritual growth towards maturity of others. It will force us to bear with the failings of the weak.

An awakening will bring more lives into the Kingdom, and more lives means more potential for mess. More relational, spiritual, and emotional drama. That means more patience, more love, more compassion, more empathy, and more humility to be displayed.

An awaking will force us to truly open our churches, our homes, and our lives to others who may not be like us. It will force us to welcome others as Jesus has welcomed us. Lovingly. Gently. Patiently. Selflessly. Humbly. Jesus’ welcoming is one that engages our mess, cleans it up, and loves regardless.

When we do engage the mess of wakefulness in this way, we truly will be a church that “lives in such harmony with one another” and “together with one voice” give the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the true glory due His name!


Heavenly father, make us ready to engage the mess that an awakening brings. May we be a church marked by humility and love. Holy Spirit, help us to bear with one another. Jesus, may your great name be lifted above all others in the city of Houston and may those asleep, be awakened to your glorious light. Amen.