I am absolutely, positively horrible at remembering things. Anything. I have to write down birthdays and anniversaries. I have to keep a book of passwords. I have post-its and a very full calendar to help me remember my daily tasks. It all sounds pretty normal, but seriously, don’t ask me how old I am or when my kids graduated. I’d have to call my sister…
When my friends at Bible study said I had to memorize scripture, I was a little panicked. I can often remember that I read something… And I can usually envision the journal or book margin where I took notes, which allows me to put my fingers on it in order to jog my memory. But goodness gracious, my brain can’t hold much of anything. I am doomed in my elderly years.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know there is great power in memorizing scripture. I know the importance and the command to hide God’s word in your heart. But my idea of memorizing definitely involves paraphrasing. I read the bible. I do bible studies. I have journal after journal filled with stories, quotes, and prayers. But for the life of me, I cannot remember any of it readily.
The first week I was relieved to recite the verse together. The girls carried me, and I chimed in with a few words and phrases as they came to me. The second week was not so pretty. We had to recite with a partner and I was not prepared. To be honest, I didn’t even try simply because I “knew” it couldn’t happen. Well, this week I put forth the effort and nailed it. We didn’t recite the verse together, but I was on it and ready.
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand with sinners, or join in with scoffers. They delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about this law. They are like trees planted along the riverbanks, producing fruit in every season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.”
~ Psalm 1:1-3, D’s version…which is kind of close to NLT
I may have mistaken a word or two, but this is the general gist of the verse and I am proud to have been able to memorize it. But I’m not done. While I have written this verse out, what seems like, a billion times, and I have recited it and recalled it to my mind while doing the dishes and the laundry and driving in the car… I have not accomplished the hardest part. Memorizing it is only the first step.
Now I am praying that it remains in my heart and that when I need to recall it, God will allow my brain to work so that I can help someone else grow closer to him. I don’t know when that will be. I don’t know what that opportunity will look like. But I need this verse, and many more, in the reservoir to draw from. I won’t fret about getting every word right. But I trust that God will give me the opportunities and I will have a treasure of truth to share at the right moments.
What about you? Do you regularly memorize scripture? I’d love to hear your tips and strategies! How do you memorize and recall these verses?