How is your memory?
As the old year passes and the new one arrives it is common for us to look back over the events of the past year and reminisce. For some people wonderful things happened, yet for others harsh or tragic experiences occurred. My hope is that the former has brightened your life and been a delight. For those with the severe times of life to recollect, may you be heartened by knowing that the Lord God is still in this world to comfort and to direct you. The ability to remember is a gift.
One evening, I mused about how much we know by memory. Whether we choose to memorize something or are compelled to learn something by heart, as was common in school, it is a part of life that we can put to use every day.
For instance, do you remember learning your colors, the alphabet and numbers as a young child? Are you able to recite the multiplication tables? Do you remember your first telephone number? Can you list the names of the states and their capitals? Have you memorized your credit card number, your Social Security number or your address? Perhaps you recall nursery rhymes to teach your offspring. Or maybe with your ears and heart you have memorized songs that have enriched your life. Are there any recipes you can make from memory? Many of these things can be recalled with very little effort, because of the skill of memorization we have been given.
I have made it a practice to work at committing some verses of scripture to memory. One that I have been working at lately comes from John 14:13, 14. In it the Lord Jesus says, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” This verse encourages me to ask God for help in any situation.
My daughter asked me to find a piece of music that she wrote in college. (That was quite a few years ago.) Not sure where to look, this Bible verse encouraged me to ask the Lord to help me find it.
I checked in my two music cabinets. I did not find it. I asked the Lord again to give me direction. As I lay in bed that night, a thought came to mind. Check the cedar chest that my father-in-law built for me.
The next day, I headed for the cedar chest. On top of it, sat a 3-ring binder of my husband’s and my love letters we wrote to each other before we were married. I opened the binder cover and there was the music score for which I had been hunting. What a specific answer to prayer! My heart truly rejoiced that God had done what I had asked of Him and so quickly. Had it not been for the discipline of memorizing, I may have not had the inspiration to ask God for the help I needed.
I have heard some folks say that they are too old to memorize. It can be hard to be sure. But if one makes time to review the verse daily (like taking a daily vitamin pill) it can become a part of one’s life.
It has also been said that memory is like a muscle. If we use it, memory will get stronger. If we do not use it, it will become weak or atrophy to the point of being of less use to us. How are you using yours?