I Give Up!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts. PSALM 139:23
In July 1995, we were in Fort Collins, Colorado, for the U.S. Staff Conference of Campus Crusade for Christ. More than 3,000 staff members and volunteers had made similar treks to be there, expecting to enjoy a rousing time of worship, rejuvenation and fellowship.
We got a lot more than that.
On the fourth day of the conference, Nancy Leigh DeMoss (now an author and radio host but at the time simply a writer and speaker for Life Action Ministries) gave a message that ignited a fire. She spoke of our desperate need to turn from pride to humility in true spiritual brokenness. Following Nancy’s address, God orchestrated what became three days of holy introspection, confession and cleansing.
Scheduled meetings were cancelled. Speakers who had traveled from across the country never presented their talks. Instead, men and women streamed to the platform and poured their hearts out in confession, repentance and reconciliation.
Staff members made phone calls seeking forgiveness for years of bitterness harbored against a father, mother, sibling or friend. Brokenhearted parents sought prayer for wayward sons and daughters. I remember sobbing in anguish beside a friend who confessed to deceit and adultery. More than 100 people surrounded this man to pray for healing in his marriage and family.
None of us felt any inclination to judge. All of us knew we were sinners. And the ripple effects of that one event continue to be felt in our family relationships.
Now let me ask you a very personal question: Is there anything in your life, your marriage or your family that needs to be confessed to God and perhaps to one another? This could be one of the most important questions you answer in this entire book.
REFLECT AND PRAY
Take some time as individuals to prayerfully ask God if there’s anything you need to confess to Him and possibly to your spouse. If necessary, make a list and confess that list to God. Tell Him that whatever He needs to say, you’re willing to listen—whatever He asks, you’re willing to do. If appropriate, discuss your lists as a couple.