Memorizing Scripture and Yorkies

Written on

January 19, 2024

With the cold weather, our little, neurotic, 6 pound, Yorkie has been sleeping a little higher up on our bed. Snuggled in a fleece blanket between my husband and me, Clark had hunkered down for a long winter’s nap last night. In the wee hours, I rolled over and sent the small dog into a panic. He launched himself off our queen sized bed and shocked me wide awake.

I laid there in bed, for I don’t-know-how long, and decided at last to go to the bathroom. When I climbed back into bed, my mind was racing. With what? What was so stressful, so important that I couldn’t just roll over and go back to sleep? This morning, my thoughts were on work responsibilities. Other nights, different stresses. Some early mornings, it’s relationships. Regardless of exactly what night or which hour before dawn, my thoughts usually involve the future somehow and it always includes a scenario that I can do nothing about, especially at that moment.

Then, I decided to focus my thoughts, take control of my mind. I let out a deep breath and forced my attention onto the scripture verse I have been meditating on and memorizing over the last couple of weeks, John 1:16. (I blogged about it earlier this week. You can find that here) I thought on what that verse tells me about my God, His goodness and His faithfulness. My work responsibilities took an appropriate back seat on my priority list, yet sleep still seemed illusive.

Next, I turned my mental faculties to one of my favorite chapters of scriptures. I memorized Psalm 139 when I was in college and the Holy Spirit has brought its truth back to my mind countless times. I have found comfort and purpose and reassurance in its words. Early this morning, I used my awake mind to recall its words and reflect on what it tells about my pretty remarkable God.

Only when I had surrendered all my thoughts to Him, subjecting my stress to His goodness, faithfulness and capabilities – I slipped into a deep, peaceful sleep, unaware and unworried about where Clark had ended up.

This meditation/memorization method for combatting insomnia is pretty new to me. In the past, and at times still, I will lay awake praying about whatever is spiraling in my head. However, this past fall, some ladies at church joined me in discussing Glenna Marshall’s book “Memorizing Scripture,” and my motivations for the spiritual discipline were challenged. I don’t need to memorize verses to earn or prove my salvation, but to grow closer to the One who saved me. I don’t need to memorize passages to earn some extra level of self-righteousness, but to allow the Spirit to make me more like Jesus.

When my motivation for memorizing scripture changed, my methods did too. I don’t memorize to recite to an audience. I memorize to remember and remind myself of God’s nature, God’s faithfulness and God’s goodness. When these things are my focus, the words of the verses come alive and I can claim them for myself.

Glenna’s book is full of practical methods on how to memorize scripture as the title suggests. But, more importantly, it focuses on the heart, the why behind hiding the scriptures in our hearts. Meditating on the truth is invaluable to my spiritual walk.

It is intimidating to think about memorizing – we’re already so busy, we’re too old, we’ve got to many other things to remember. Honestly, there were a few women that opted out of our discussion because it was on “scripture memory,” and I still don’t blame them. It is daunting, but as I laid in bed at 3 this morning, I was thankful for the truth to meditate on, to force focus my thoughts to and to silence the circling circumstances that were robbing me of much needed sleep.

I awoke this morning, feeling rested and ready. God’s peace had graciously calmed my heart, weighted my eyelids and granted me stillness. Through mediating on God’s word I had memorized I could be still and know that He is God.

Clark was used by God this morning. He used that little doggie to wake me up so I could spend some quality time in His presence and, as always, I am better for it.

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