The little boxwood bush outside the French doors began to tremble. I could see only the top of it from where I sat at the table. The shaking stopped; then it began again, quaking and rocking. What is going on with that bush? I watched for a minute or two. Presently, the head of a squirrel appeared. He scrabbled in the bush with his front paws, dived his head among the leaves, pulled it out, and pawed in the bush some more. He thrust his head in again, and then came out with a whole peanut in his mouth. He had stashed a treasure and had come back to find it.
What treasures have we stashed away? King David wrote, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11, NIV). He knew that, even though he loved God, it was easy for him to sin. It is easy to give in to our own desires unless we have God's Word tucked away in our hearts.
That squirrel knew by instinct that he would need food later on in the year. I had put food out for him every day during the winter. Perhaps he had more than he needed at that time, so he stashed a peanut away where he could find it when I cut back on putting out squirrel food and he was hungry.
If we hide God's Word in our hearts and minds, it will be there later when life is not so good.
Kids have problems over which they have no control. Mom and Dad may move, and their children lose all their friends. At a new school or church, they have to become acquainted all over again. If kids have God's Word stashed in their hearts, it will encourage them when they are discouraged or lonely. Memorizing Scripture is not difficult; it just takes a little time and a lot of determination.
Perhaps your family could work on this together during family devotions. A few minutes a day is all that is needed. One family did that, and now those grown children know a lot of Scripture verses-even whole chapters in the Book of Psalms.
Another way to memorize is to write a Scripture verse in pencil on a card. Tape it to the mirror in the bathroom you use all the time. Then, you can read it over and over while you wash your hands or brush your teeth. Later, erase a word or two, and say it to yourself again. Pretty soon, all the words will be erased on the card, but you will be able to quote it perfectly. Be sure to memorize the place in the Bible where the verse is found so you can find it if someone else needs to read it.
A third way is to make flashcards. You can put part of the verse on the front of the card, and part on the back. Then, see if you can remember the part that is missing from the side of the card you are reading.
Memorizing with a friend is fun, too. You can challenge each other to memorize verses each week. Perhaps you could work on the same verses, or each of you might want to choose your own.
Memorizing Scripture is not difficult. A squirrel benefits from his stash, and you can benefit from yours. Take the time, like that squirrel, to make your own Scripture stash for the future.
By Sylvia Stewart