For nine years, from fourth grade through my senior year of high school, I participated in Bible Drill, which is a program that involves a lot of memorization of scripture. Today I was given the privilege of helping facilitate a practice drill for some students at my church in preparation for their first competition next Sunday. (To clarify, they’re competing against a clock, not against each other.) It was refreshing to see students committing scripture to memory. It did my heart good and reinforced a recent decision I made.
About three months ago, I decided to start making it a point to memorize scripture again. At the time, I had come across Psalm 116:7 – Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. That one was short and simple, but I loved it. It’s a good reminder in life when things get overwhelming. I wanted to commit it to memory, so I wrote it on a note card, tucked it away in my Bible, and reviewed it a few times each morning. Then I added Lamentations 3:22-24 – Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
I’ve since added Psalm 138:8, Romans 8:38-39 (this was by far the hardest to memorize), and most recently, Philippians 4:4-7.
Some of the scripture I memorized as a child comes back to me, especially if I hear the start of a familiar passage, but I usually can’t tell you where exactly to find it. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I’ll wake up and a Bible verse comes to mind. It happens when I drive. It happens when I mow my yard. It happens when I’m at work sometimes. (Usually that’s the one about working with all your heart as if working for the Lord and not for men – Colossians 3:23, which I have not committed to memory! I definitely need that reminder sometimes!)
Earlier this week, I was listening to a podcast where Ellie Holcomb had been interviewed. She spoke about memorizing scripture and she said our work as believers is to remember. We need to remember what God did, who He is, and what He has promised. She talked about a scary time a few months ago when her husband was hospitalized and in her rush to leave for the hospital, she didn’t pack her Bible, but these scriptures she had memorized were coming to mind. It was as if she was reminding herself: this is what is true. Even when something is scary or upsetting and doesn’t feel true, this is what is true. It’s a great comfort.
What’s your favorite scripture or passage of scripture? I’m not sure which one I’ll commit to memory after I get Philippians 4:4-7 permanently stored away inside, but I’m sure another one will grab me before I know it.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses every thought will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7
This is what is true.