There’s so much I carry in my head. Most of it would seem useless to many people. But I can tell you exactly which stores have two seats in the cart and how prices of diapers on Amazon compare to prices at Costco. I remember my son’s fire truck pajamas need to be washed because otherwise the tears will flow at bedtime. And, not that you’d ever want to know this, but I could tell you the last time each one of my three kids pooped.
Somehow over the years the practice of memorizing Scripture has been pushed aside in my brain to make room for remembering where my twins’ shoes are or how long it’s been since I last fed the baby. But in the last six months, a couple friends and I have been slowly memorizing Romans 8 and it’s been nothing short of life-changing, especially during the most wearying days of motherhood.
I try to at least read through the chapter everyday (many days I fail at this), and when I can steal away for longer I practice memorizing one phrase at a time. There’s a richness that develops when we dwell on a passage for awhile, like a good beef stew. You spend a few minutes adding carrots and potatoes and beef to a pot, and maybe it’d taste okay after a half hour. But oh how much better it is when it simmers all day long! There’s depth and flavor and beauty that can only happen with time (yes, the Instapot ruins my analogy).
It’s been like that for me with this passage. I’ve glossed over sentences in the past that I now savor and cling to daily. The words return to my mind after I’ve lost my patience, when I feel at a loss with how to discipline, or I’m anxious about how I’m messing up my kids.
Tucked away amongst the cache of information that comes with parenting young children are phrases like, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (v. 1) and “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (v. 18) and “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” (v. 26) and “nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (v. 39).
God’s words remind me I can walk through hard days with joy and rest in the finished work of Christ.
Maybe there’s only so much I can remember, and maybe as I memorize Scripture a few other things will be forgotten. But even if I forget to order diapers or where I left my phone, may I never, ever forget the truth of God’s Word.