It's All in the Mind -
Or is It?
During my stint in seminary I had what was called a Christian Service Assignment. I was to lead a Sunday morning worship service in a rest home twice a month. As the weeks went by I had many interesting experiences.
Probably my most memorable Sunday was a time I was speaking from Psalm 23. I decided to read the entire Psalm first, then go back and make some points. I opened my Bible and read the first line, "The Lord is my Shepherd," but before I could catch my breath I heard a loud, "I SHALL NOT WANT!" I didn't know whether to read that line or not, so I decided to skip it, since it had already been said. I started on the next verse, "He makes me..." and before I could finish the sentence I heard, "LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES!" (I hadn't planned on this being a responsive reading, but you have to be flexible, right?) Well, this went on several more times, and I figured out my responder was Dorothy. Finally I heard one of the other guests say, "Dorothy, would you be quiet, and let this young man finish?"
Well, things went along as normal for the rest of the time, but I have never forgotten Dorothy. Dorothy could not read anything, no matter how large the print. Her key was memorization. Sometime back in Dorothy's younger years she had set her mind to memorize Scripture. I'm sure she never thought there would be a time when she could not read the Bible on her own, and would need to glean comfort and hope from God's Word in her memory, but that time had come for her.
Bible memorization is something we talk a lot about, but do very little. It is ironic that we memorize phone numbers, addresses, sports statistics, recipes, and a host of other information that borders on useless. So often we do so almost automatically and with great ease, but when it comes to putting to memory the very words of God we say to others and ourselves, "Oh, I just can't memorize." We need to change that little word "can't" to "won't."
Dorothy, in her earlier years, had put into practice: "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you..." Colossians 3:16.
If you put a favorite verse at the base of your computer monitor, after a month you will have it memorized. Do that for twelve months, you will have twelve verses memorized in one year!
Psalm 119:9, 11: "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (NIV).
Matthew 4:4: "But He answered and said, 'It is written, "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God"'" (NASB).