Treasuring God’s Word at 94

Treasuring God's Word at 94

Yesterday morning I visited a dear lady from my church who was admitted to the hospital recently. She is 94 years old and just in the past year had to move into an assisted living. Her memory sometimes fails her, but she always greets you with a smile and “I love you so much!”

When I got word that Madeline was in the hospital, I immediately went to see her. We chatted for a few minutes, and I grabbed her hand and prayed with her. When I said, “Amen,” she started quoting Scripture, one verse after another. I looked at her with amazement (and conviction). She cannot always remember what she’s supposed to do next, but she remembers God’s Word that she has treasured in her heart all these years. She may forget other things, but she has not forgotten Scripture.

As I was driving back to the church, I thanked God for this precious role model. Madeline loves her Savior (she reminded me of that several times), and she loves His Word. God reminded me of David’s words in Psalm 119:11: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Madeline has treasured God’s Word so deeply that even though her memory sometimes fails her, God’s Word doesn’t.

Her example encouraged me, but it also convicted me. I confess that I don’t memorize Scripture the way I should. I go through phases when I am faithful at memorizing, but then I quit.

Why is it so hard for us to memorize Scripture? Madeline gave me a vivid picture of the power of having God’s Word in our hearts, knowing it by memory, treasuring it.

Do you struggle with Scripture memory? If you are memorizing Scripture, would you pass on to us what works for you? What are some tips to help us memorize God’s Word faithfully and treasure it in our hearts?

I went to see Madeline, thinking that I was going to encourage her. However, I was the one blessed and encouraged and challenged to press on by her words. Thank you, Miss Madeline!

  1. What assurance to know that God’s living and active Word STAYS living and active within us! Thank you for sharing with us what must have been a precious visit this afternoon for you. I’ll be watching to see what other ways ladies share for scripture memory – mine are the same old standbys…index cards. everywhere. everywhere. everywhere. And just writing it out ‘ til it sticks 🙂 I want to do better too! love to you!

  2. What an encouraging entry! That’s where I want my mind and heart to be going when I’m 94!!! The key word for me is ‘treasured’ – That’s a heart activity more than a mental one. We can treasure God’s words before we may be able to recite them. That in itself makes the mental process more responsive. Index cards help me, too, especially when they are left in a prominent place I visit regularly– like the bathroom mirror or the kitchen countertop. An accountability person has made a huge difference. For me, weeks of review are needed to maintain those mental pathways. Then I have to review some more! Months later, I’m astounded at what I’ve forgotten. It is never something that comes easily. But the blessings help me to keep working, to accept my lapses in discipline, to have a sense of humor about forgetfulness, and to realize that just one verse memorized and treasured makes a ‘heart difference’.

    • I love your comments about the word “treasured”!!!!

  3. Leigh and Carol,
    Thanks for the tips on Scripture memory. Yes, I find that writing the verses out over and over, and keeping them on cards are helpful. I have a “flip-card” binder that keeps them all together. And yes, accountability is almost a must to keep me going with Scripture memory. Thanks for your input!

  4. Of all the spiritual disciplines, Scripture memory is probably the hardest one for most of us. I seem to go in fits and starts…and I fizzle out way too quickly. But someone reminded me a long time ago that I don’t stop eating just because I miss a meal! So neither should my lapses in Scripture memory discourage me from continuing to try again. As for forgetting what I have memorized…Even tho the bucket may have a hole & the water leaks out, the bucket still gets clean as the water goes thru ! So I trust that the water of the Word is cleansing me even if I can’t quote the verses the next day. And as Carol said, just go back & memorize it again. It is a lot easier the second or third time around!

    The only way I can seem to get the verses memorized is to memorize in big chunks, passages rather than single verses. The context helps. Breaking the verses into phrases when I write them down also helps, as the visual image implants in my mind… like this:

    Therefore having been justified by faith,
    we have peace with God
    through our Lord Jesus Christ,

    through whom also we have obtained our introduction
    by faith into this grace in which we stand;
    and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

    And not only this,
    but we also exult in our tribulations,
    knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

    and perseverance, proven character;
    and proven character, hope;

    and hope does not disappoint,
    because the love of God has been poured out
    within our hearts through the Holy Spirit
    who was given to us.

    And above all, obviously is dependence on the Holy Spirit for the will and the enablement to do it As we press on, truly the love of God is poured out within our hearts thru the Holy Spirit!


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