By Anna Gould
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)
Other than learning John 3:16 as a child, this is the first verse I ever memorized. I was 30 years old and back in church for the first time in many years.
I joined a Newcomers class and learned about the mission of the church, spiritual gifts, “quiet time”, prayer, and how to memorize scripture. Growing up my family didn’t attend church, so I knew very little about the Bible or memorizing scripture. I did own quite a few Bibles that my sweet Granny had given me for birthdays and Christmas presents. You know the ones in the King James Translation, with leather-like covers and your full name engraved in gold on the bottom. Those are the ones that sadly stayed in their boxes over the years, as I could not understand the words. About 18 years ago I received a New International Version (NIV) Study Bible that, thankfully, was easier for me to understand. That is when my journey into God’s Word began.
Recently I came across the material from that Newcomers class. I found a page that listed some of the benefits of memorizing scripture:
- to help resist temptation
- to bring strength in trying times
- to give wisdom in decision-making
- to help me as a witness
I am far from being Super Scripture Girl, but can honestly say that I have experienced all of these benefits and so much more. It has become less about trying to memorize scripture and more about finding comfort, help, and thankfulness within the words, and wanting to be able to remember them and carry them with me.
Scripture memory has also been helpful when offering comfort to others. I am a Women’s Group Facilitator at Northstar and over the last few weeks we’ve studied spiritual gifts and suffering. The biggest takeaway from those lessons is that God wants us to use our gifts and suffering to help build others up. So when the opportunity comes to offer support and encouragement, I find that often the very scripture that has helped me is the one that I am meant to share with someone else.
If scripture memory is new to you, I encourage you to give it a try. No matter where you are in your journey, please know that you are not somehow behind. It’s not about being able to recite chapters of the Bible, but more of growing in the Lord and His word; letting it gradually settle in and become part of you. When you need it for yourself or to encourage others, it will be there. Like that first verse I memorized says, it will be a lamp to your feet and light for your path!
**Be sure to check out the Fighter Verses App featured in the LINKS AND LOVES section of the NS Women newsletter. It’s a great tool to help memorize verses with quizzes and in song–my favorite!**