At my women's bible study last week, we got to talking about memorizing scripture. It all started with the passage in Psalms about having God's word hidden in our hearts: "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psalm 119:11) We all shared stories about how as children and youth we all memorized scripture verses, but that as adults we haven't added much more to our memory bank. Then two women at our table shared how they actually memorized an entire book from the New Testament as adults. Both women did it while they were studying as students (one in ministry, the other didn't say what her focus was.) The conversation then evolved and one woman shared an experience about Christians in a certain country across the world where it is illegal to follow Jesus, and to have and read the bible. Instead, some would memorize chapters and books in secret so they could share God's word with each other. When this woman arrived at a meeting, these devout followers pressed up to her and demanded to know what chapters she had memorized that she could share with them, so hungry and desperate were they to hear the word of God. Sadly she admitted that, at that point, she knew some scattered verses, but didn't know much of the context of them. She was so impressed by the situation that she came home and memorized the book of Romans.
All six of us women at my study table were moved by her story. So we decided not to be just moved emotionally, but to be moved to action. We decided that we would try and memorize our own passage. I came home and searched through the New Testament, flipping through chapter headings, studying what each book was about, trying to find the passage I am meant to learn now. I finally settled in the book of John, starting at chapter 15. My goal, to start, is chapter 15, but I'd like to do 15-17.
It's not easy, that's for sure. I always joke that I left my memory on the delivery room floor after having Colin, so memorizing entire chapters of scripture are going to be tough. It is assuring, though, that in the first verses of the chapter I chose, it mentions that without God, we can do nothing, and that we must have God's word abiding in us. I know He will help me in this.
(Our church is also preparing for a media fast for an entire week, so I will definitely use that week to get a good start on my mastery of John 15.)