Kynzie and I have made it to our first big milestone on our scripture memory journey! We’ve now memorized 25 verses together!!! Woo-hoo!!!
It has taken time, but not that much. It’s taken effort, but it’s surprisingly not that overwhelming. It’s been hard, but not impossible. We may not make our goal of 66 by the end of the year, but, hey, we’ve already gotten to #25!
Do you know what’s been the hardest part? It’s not remembering the book of the Bible where the verse is found. It’s not the succession of the words in the verse.
It’s the chapter and number of the verse. That’s the hardest part to memorize.
It seems like there’s nothing to grasp onto that makes for an unforgettable hand motion or voice inflection or any other memorization tool when it comes to numbers. It’s like you know which book it is, and you know what the verse says, but, for crying out loud, how can we attach the right numbers to it in such a way that we won’t forget them?
I mean, lightning probably isn’t going to strike us if we get one wrong. But, still. I’m the grandparent, and I sure do want to get it right.
(And besides, if you know me at all, you know how I feel about lightning!)
So far, we’ve been able to keep the verses attached to each one’s respective home page, and my goal has always been to lead Kynzie to grasp the overarching context, but I have to confess that every time we start memorizing a new verse, I stress over the small detail of the numbers.
Isn’t that the way it is in life?
The small details trip us up, when it’s the big picture that deserves our focus.
If you’ve been following along with my granddaughter and me on our journey to memorize 66 faith-building verses (one from each book of the Bible), you know that hand-motions have been a huge help. This is where the imagination of a child can really surprise the mind of an adult.
Here’s how it typically works.
Me: Ok, Kynzie, I’ll say the whole verse first. You listen and think about the hand motions we can use to memorize it.
Lamentations: 3:22-23 – Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. His mercies are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23 (We say the reference at the beginning and ending.)
Then, word, by word, we go.
This is the point where a grandparent like me starts wanting to shout hallelujah. Every time we learn a new one, there’s a moment that her imagination blows me away. For instance, when you got to the “we are not consumed.” There I was, scrambling through my pea brain in that split second, thinking, what creative way can we remember this, and my 9-year old granddaughter comes up with it, and it’s altogether perfect, and it’s even a deep spiritual concept, a grandmother like me has a hard time not shouting a few praises! I just have to be careful that we’re not in the back seat of the car when I do it. It scares the granddad who’s driving.
Kynzie: Ok, Grammie, here’s what we can do. When somebody is consumed, they walk like a robot. (She’s got her arms bent at the elbows, hands stretched out straight, moving her arms backwards and forwards, like a stiff robot uses them to move forward.)
“We’re not consumed by something besides God. We’re not robots.”
See what I mean? I got that holy chill that sometimes stops you dead in your dumb tracks, and there are no words to adequately express your awe. I just wanted to shout hallelujah!
At some unexpected moment, with each new verse, working through it one word at a time, the same thing happens in different ways. It’s then that I know we’re gonna make it. We’re going to get this one memorized- just like we did the 24 verses before that came before it.
And then I’m so glad we’ve done it. Are still doing it. And will continue to put in the effort and the work and the time.
Twenty-five verses in – a little over a third of the way there – we’re building her faith and mine. Her imagination is childlike and refreshing, coming up with great hand-motions on the fly. Mine works a little differently, because of my life experience and her lack of it. What I imagine is that someday, she’ll need a whole bank of God’s word to draw on in her time of need. What I imagine is that when she’s a college student and is confronted by someone else’s unbelief, she’ll be able to stand firm.
And when she’s tripping up over the small details of life, she’ll have plenty of reasons to trust in the God who holds the big picture in the palm of his hand.
Those are the imaginings of my grandmother’s heart.
Because of the Lord’s great love for us – He is not a God who swoops down to discipline his children and then disappears. The God who created us (Genesis 1:1) is abounding in love (Numbers 14:18).
We are not consumed – The world around us can’t consume the soul within us. While men are judging us by what they see on the outside, God looks deep into our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). Kynzie was so right. We are not robots. We operate from the heart!
For his compassions never fail – Sometimes, we’re about as smart as a sheep, but He’s the Good Shepherd (Psalm 23:1) and makes sure we don’t fall off the cliff.
His mercies are new every morning – Just when we think all is about to be lost; just when it looks like we’re about to be done in, God reminds us that he has placed us right where we are for a royal purpose (Esther 4:14). He gave us his Son, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and his plans are always for our good (Jeremiah 29:11).
Yes, oh, yes, oh yes.
GREAT is his faithfulness.
If you grew up singing hymns in church, I bet I know what you’re thinking right about now.
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.
Anybody want to shout hallelujah?
Encouraging intentional adventure and the building up of our faith in the One who is completely faithful to us,
PS: Kynzie went on to create hand motions for the rest of this verse, just the others, which definitely help us remember the words. But, as for the chapter and number? It’s really just a case of pure-dee repetition. The more we say those numbers, the more they stick to the verse. The greater the number of times we recite them, the more deeply embedded into our memories they go.