For years, I’ve tried to convince myself that I’ll memorize Scripture. When I get time. Next week. I’ll print out a Psalm and memorize it.
The weeks went by, and the one Psalm I memorized was forgotten. I can’t understand how I memorized pages of poetry in high school and delighted to recite it to myself while I walked or crocheted or when my mind wandered in church. Why can’t it be the same with Bible passages?
Frustration mounted. I wondered, what is the point of trying to hide His Word in my heart? So far, it seemed to be hiding from me, not in me.
I overcame the frustration again last week, and opened my Bible to Isaiah 35. A beautiful passage about the desert blossoming, the lame walking, God Himself coming to save us. I thought, surely I can memorize this like a poem.
I read the first verse, and this thought came to me.
Memorizing is not about reciting Scripture. It’s about dwelling in the Word and letting God use it to teach me. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 119:11-12, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.”
My frustration died as I realized God doesn’t need me to be able to quote verbatim every passage of Scripture I ever memorize. Some people may be able to do that, but I doubt I will in this life. For me, memorizing God’s Word allows me to soak it into my heart, where it can guide me. Once it’s there, God can bring it back to me when I need it—both to keep me from sinning against Him and to share with others.
My thirsty heart, like the parched ground in Isaiah 35:7, “shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.”
Have you been frustrated by memorizing Scripture before? Do you know a way to memorize that works well for you? I’d love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below.