Sunday morning often hits our house like a whirlwind. It seems no matter how much preparation is done beforehand, in the hours before we leave for church, Sunday morning feels chaotic. Breakfast is hurriedly made and put on the table, kids get dressed and redressed for church after finding a hole in their tights or a stain on their shirt, the baby inevitably has a dirty diaper as we’re about to walk out the door. And in those few minutes when we’re all around the breakfast table, we’re often drilling the kids on their memory verses for Sunday school. And my memory verse? Well, there just didn’t seem to be time in the week for me to memorize. I’m hoping the kids won’t ask for mom’s recitation of the weekly fighter verse at our church.
Recently I heard of a woman who has memorized 14 BOOKS of the Bible (see footnote), and they’re not all the shortest ones! As I heard her recite Ephesians 1 from memory, I was both freshly inspired and convicted of my own lack of perseverance in memorizing Scripture. As a parent I can so easily focus on training my children (and keeping everyone fed and clean), that my own spiritual disciplines can be squeezed out of the weekly routine. And it’s not just for the sake of knowing more Scripture by memory, but I want to know God more. I want His words, not mine, to be on the forefront of my mind and on the tip of my tongue as I walk through the daily life. I want His Word to be stored in my heart when I am faced with the temptation to indulge in that second piece of cake (1 Cor.10:13), when I am counseling a young mom feeling weary in the daily grind of unruly toddlers and laundry piles (2 Cor. 12:9), and when I am comforting a child who is awakened in the night with bad dreams (Philippians 4:6-8). Yet this is not going to happen simply through reading my Bible and hearing the Word preached on Sunday. Some extra effort is needed on my part…
Despite my encouragement by the woman who has memorized 14 books of the Bible, I am starting with low expectations for myself – a verse each week. I’ve realized that I often have a few random minutes of down time, such as when I’m waiting in the school parking lot to pick up my children, or when I’m sitting in the waiting room of the ballet studio. If I remember to carry my 3x5 fighter verse card with me, or better yet, have it on my phone, it doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to memorize. There are also the minutes I have when I’m doing a mindless chore… such as emptying the dishwasher or drying my hair. Both of these can easily become times when I am able to recite the verse. And best yet… my husband put the Desiring God Fighter Verse app on my phone. This amazing little app allows me to read the verse, sing the verse and even be quizzed on the verse with a fill in the blank method. So…. as I begin this new year, I’m trusting God for those few random minutes, and the grace to persevere, to arm myself with the truth of God’s Word that I might be ready for battle.
Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”