Just {sing} it

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I fail miserably at memorizing scripture.

Always have.

As a child, my Sunday School strategy was to whisper the prescribed Bible verse over and over again to myself until it was my turn, and then I’d spew the words out just as quickly as humanly possible. It was like a gush of holy verbiage; it wasn’t pretty but it got the job done. I think my Sunday school teacher was just glad that I didn’t pass out.

I have a recurring nightmare that I have to quote scripture in public and I can’t remember even the first word. Yikes.

Beth Moore memorizes WHOLE CHAPTERS OF THE BIBLE. How does anyone even do that?

Not my gift.

It’s not like I haven’t tried. I’ve joined scripture challenges, I’ve strategically placed 3×5 note cards all over my mirror/desk/house/office, and I’ve even prayed over my deficiency. “Lord, please help me to remember Your holy words. I want them stored up in my heart just as King David declared, ‘Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path’ “.

That’s Psalm 119:105 and I only know that for sure because I just looked it up on my iPad Bible.

Despite the cheater sheets and the prayers, I still can’t do it.

Bible study.
Journaling.
Prayer.
Not too shabby.

Quoting scripture.
Big. Fat. Fail.

But this week I had an epiphany ~insert angelic chorus here~

Every morning I listen to a Pandora radio playlist that features artists like David Crowder and Rend Collective Experiment; I love this eclectic mix that includes a wide variety of artists and music styles. My favorites, though, are re-imagined hymns. Those familiar words reign firm and true in my soul and I can sing EVERY WORD and EVERY STANZA without hesitation.

Shoot. Why can’t I memorize and recite even one verse of scripture?

Well, you big dummy. (And by you I mean me.)

I won’t bore you with countless studies and the science behind memory and music, but it’s good to know that different parts of the brain come into play for processing and retaining lyrics versus spoken word. Bless it.

So you see, I HAVE THESE THINGS STORED UP IN MY HEART, I just have to sing them to get them out.

Which may or may not be a good thing.

That, my friends, was a balm to my weary, ten-year-old soul that fretted and stewed over next week’s memory verse.

It says it right here… “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts”. Colossians 3:16, emphasis mine. Or as The Message translation says it, “…sing your hearts out to God!”

I can do that.
Amen.

[This is my scripture-packed song for this week, “Greater” by MercyMe. Give it a listen. It’ll get your toes to tappin’. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AL96zyfWDv4 ]

The photo at the top of this post is my first Bible, given to me by my parents when I was six years old.  most. favorite. thing. on this side of heaven.

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