Saturday, October 1, 2016

Memorizing Scripture

When I was in eighth grade, my teacher, Mr. Hampton (loved him) assigned a Psalm a week for us to memorize. This was on the cusp of the change in public school education, back before we realized the world was diverse, before prayer was removed, and before being politically correct outranked learning fine literature from the Bible.

Oh, we grumbled. Mainly because this was in addition to the verses we were required to memorize for our weekly Sunday School Classes and the once in a life time confirmation classes.

When would we ever use this?

I hear that cry now from Algebra I students (and parents) who don't realize the lessons learned in basic Algebra are so embedded in daily life that no one realizes they are there. Same as in learning phonics. All those basic ABC's and vowel rules and syllabication make reading new words possible, just ask those friends of mine who attended schools those years when phonics was tossed aside. To be without a skill makes life a degree more difficult.

I now have an answer to the "When would we ever use this?" complaint about memorizing scripture.


Just like Algebra. Just like phonics.

The soul also needs basics to call upon. In times of stress, life becomes bearable when a bit of scripture floats up from the depths of the brain to bring comfort and reassurance. Like in these coaster tiles a friend gifted me this week.

My favorite, Joshua 1:9 The Lord Your God is with you.

I'm about through with my cancer radiation treatments, two more to go (Yipppeeee!) and I can see the light at the end of the cancer free tunnel. It's not been an easy or smooth journey, let me assure you. But it has been made more bearable by support from my friends, and a few strangers too. Many of the cards they sent had scriptures on them and after a while I noticed the wide variety of verses that spoke to me. So I copied them and held to them and remembered some of them from my eighth grade teacher. Wow, just wow. I wish he were still alive for me to share my enlightenment.

Here, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament, a list of scriptures I found on the cards sent to me this summer:
  • Psalm 5:3 In the morning O Lord, you hear my voice. In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
  • Psalm 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from him.
  • Psalm 91: 1,2 He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of the almighty. I will say to the Lord, "my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."
  • Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
  • Psalm 50:15 Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me.
  • Psalm 145:18-19 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

There were more scriptures from places throughout the Bible, many that I had also memorized as a child. When I read them in the cards, they rose from the recesses of my brain. Perhaps they had been engraved on my heart by those dear Sunday School teachers who put up with my shenanigans and wondered after an hour with me in a closed room, if I even learned anything. I did.

One thing about the battle between life and cancer, the warrior needs support. That, I found, in my husband, my family, my friends, and my scriptures. Whew.

Catch of the day,


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