Monday, November 26, 2007

Memory Verse Monday

Karen over at Karen's Ramblings has started Memory Verse Monday for the purpose of our mutual encouragement here in blogland. She says the aim of Memory Verse Monday is to:
1. Memorize a passage (or passages) of scripture.
2. Share why you have chosen the verse (or verses) that you have.
3. Encourage one another with what God has been saying to you through this verse.
4. Share the ways in which you find remembering verses works for you.

I love the idea of sharing with one another the ways in which we are experiencing God in His Word, so today I decided to join in for Memory Verse Monday.

I am currently going through Psalm 22. I read and meditate on one verse at a time, one day at a time. Today's verse, and the ones leading up to it may not seem very encouraging at first glance, but I assure you, God's Word is good.

(12)Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. (13)Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me. And today's verse (14)I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
I have gone through several other psalms in this same fashion (one verse per day) and believe it or not, I chose Psalm 22 because it seemed so encouraging. One day I was reading Stephanie's blog and I saw verses 4 and 5: In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. I read those words and thought, Yes, I want to do that one next!

What I have found in Psalm 22 is a bit of a yo-yo effect. One moment David is despairing, and the next he is trusting God. Then he is back to despairing again. (Obviously he is in the despairing mode in today's verse!)
The thing God is showing me as I memorize and meditate on these verses is the same thing He's been repeating to me over the past several weeks. It is vital that we rehearse the Truth. The times in Psalm 22 when David is despairing are the times when he is focusing on his circumstances. He does well, however, when he is looking to God and remembering Who God Is.
When I read today's verse I thought, David sounds like a mother here! He sounds totally spent and worn out. I think I could relate to his frame of mind! Yes, there are times when I feel like I am poured out like water - like there is nothing left in me to give.
But then God reminded me David is focusing on his circumstance in this verse, as he has been for the past few verses. He sees only what is around him, and thinks only about what he is feeling. (I have read ahead, and I know David is going to come around to focusing on God again!) David's circumstances (like ours) are true, with a lowercase "t," but God reminded me what really matters is Truth, with a capital "T."
That is, God is eternal and my situation is temporary.
God is sovereign and my circumstance - while it seems to have great influence over me - is under His control.
God is completely faithful and I can trust Him, while my feelings are fickle and cannot be trusted.

So I was encouraged through this despairing verse today - to rehearse the Truth.

My habit in memorizing and meditating on these verses is to sit on my couch with my Bible and read over the verse several times. I pray and ask God what He wants to say to me through this particular verse. I also write it on a piece of paper, which then goes into my pocket so I can refer to it throughout the day.
Sometimes I take the paper out of my pocket on purpose and read it. Other times I feel the paper because I have put my hand in my pocket, or because I am brushing crumbs off my lap and, being reminded of the verse, I take it out to review it again. I love carrying my daily verse with me because of the constant reminder it is to me of the time I spent with God that morning. In one sense, it is almost like my time of meditation continues through the entire day.

God has blessed me and covered me with His love as I have spent time in the psalms this way. If you've never done anything like it, I would encourage you to give it a try!

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Karen said...

Oh I typed a big message and lost it...basically it was saying how awesome this post was. I could 'see' those bulls, scary things...and yes David going through all those emotions. Thanks for the tips and the inspiration!

Coach J said...

Those words from David sum up my feelings for the last month. I needed to know about Psalm 22. Thanks, Karen!

BunnyGirl said...

Well, I thought I would check out who else is doing Memory Verse Monday and saw your name so here I am visiting your blog. This was an excellent post. I think that is what I find so encouraging is that David went through the hard stuff but he always came back to God and God said David was a man after his own heart!
Good stuff

Shawna said...

I love studying about David and reading the Psalms. He isn't afraid to share what he's really feeling but then always turns around and sees hope in God. Very uplifting.

BTW, I posted a review for your book if you have a chanace to come by.

Leigh Gray said...

what a great idea - how in the world will i remember to do that........i mean post it and all!!

I hope i can!!


freetofly said...

Karen, this is a great post. I am officially going to start taking the piece of paper thing (or index card) & implement it beginning tomorrow morning! I have been sort of convicted to do that everytime I read Karen's comments about writing it down...I now know I MUST! :)

Thank you for inspiring me!

P.S. I credit the Psalms for saving my life when I was a baby Christian and going through terribly trying times, I loved how they showed us it was OK to struggle, that is real, but that the struggle always should end in our pointing our eyes & hope back to the Lord, just like David did...

Wendy said...

I seriously need try this. I know how important it is to hid God's word in my heart, and yet I'm terrible about making a conscious effort to do it. I'm thinking this might give me the kind of accountability and motivation I need. Thanks for sharing it!