my friend presented a challenge to the team coming to work here this christmas and it reminded me of something i thought i’d share.
when i came to india the first time i was shocked to discover that the kids here learn a verse a day and share what they learned the week before in church every sunday. i know it shouldn’t have shaken me so – we all “know” to hide God’s word in our heart, but what do we really do with that knowledge? i hadn’t thought about memorizing verses since i was a kid or if i had to in college.
so, i determined that when i got home i would start doing the same thing. and what do you think? i got home. i got sick. i tried to recover from being sick. i struggled to process all i had seen and heard and get up and go to work like a “normal” person. i volunteered at church. i led a small group….most of these very good things, but somehow a lot that had challenged my heart and uncovered areas that needed some serious growth were once again overgrown with the kudzu of life.
not until my pastor issued a challenge to leaders to memorize Romans 8, did the resolution i made in india even occur to me.
i rose to the momentary challenge, memorized the chapter and then…nothing. it’s like i was so proud of myself, that i accomplished and “completed” the challenge that i was finished. i could stop now.
why does this seem to be so difficult to remember to do, let alone follow through with?
fast forward to my current journey in india…as i sat and observed school the first day, all that God had planted in my heart so long ago came busting through the soil of my soul. how could i require my students to learn verses and callously sit by and not be doing so myself?
somehow i thought this was difficult, and insurmountable thing to attempt alongside all the other out-of-the-ordinary things i’m doing right now.
boy was i surprised.
i memorize song lyrics all the time. through school and college i memorized dozens of shows and musical numbers. i memorized information for tests. i learned procedures for who knows how many jobs…why have i put scripture memory in such an unattainable place?
honestly, i still don’t quite have the answer to that one.
so here i am, 8 weeks into my journey and (along with my first and third grader, mind you) i have learned a verse for every letter of the alphabet (thanks to my mom and the take-home pack from the bg library) and Hebrews 12:1-15…i don’t say that to impress you. believe me it is not that impressive.
i am 33 years old and have been walking with my Savior for almost 3 decades (feelin’ old yet?)
i don’t even know two verses for each year i’ve known Him. and i wonder why sometimes my faith seems to fail me (which of course is more me failing my faith than the other way around).
or why it’s so easy for me to get caught up in my “life” instead of the One who gives me life.
or why i continually struggle with the same things over and over…
and today i realize that it has more to do with what i don’t know to the core of my being because i do not saturate my mind with His words over others. its not enough to just read what He says.
i have to know it.
deep down. where my insecurities and fears tend to hide. so that when they try to go and take over the depths of my soul…all that hides in the recesses of my spirit, my mind, my heart are…
the words of my Father.