“My son, forget not my law but let thine heart keep my commandments. For length of days and long life and…and, and what?” Frustrated, Grace Reid looked down at her Bible laying on her lap, open to Proverbs 3, her Scripture memory passage. “For length of days and long life and peace shall they add to thee,” she read aloud. Then she repeated the verse five times.
“I wish memorizing was easier,” she sighed, closing her Bible. She again attempted quoting the first two verses of the chapter, this time with success, but it was not enough to cheer her up. Would she still remember the verses later?
“What are you whispering about, Grace?” Joseph asked as he plunged his hand into the sink full of soapy water to fish out a plate.
Grace laughed self-consciously. “I’m working on my Scripture memory. I’m trying to remember the verses I’m working on, but I keep getting the words mixed up.” She finished drying a cup and set it in the cabinet. “Have you memorized Proverbs 3?”
“No. Just verses 5 and 6.”
“Then you can’t tell me if it’s ‘forget not my commandments’ and ‘keep my law’ or ‘forget not my law’ and ‘keep my commandments.’”
“No, I cant. But you could go look it up. I can dry a few dishes if they get too piled up.”
“Thanks, Joey.” Grace took him up on the offer and left to figure out the order of the words. When she returned, she said. “I’m stuck on the first two verses and can’t seem to get past them. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“Try saying them over and over again, twenty or thirty times,” Joseph suggested. “That’s what I do, and I don’t have any trouble remembering.”
“I’ve tried. But the words get all scrambled, and my brain gets in a muddle. I guess I’ll give it another try though.”
Friday afternoons were when the three youngest Reid children recited their Scripture passages to Mrs. Reid. Grace nervously awaited her turn, as beginning with the youngest, Faith then Joseph quoted their verses. They were both working on Ephesians 1. Joseph said half of the chapter without a mistake, while, with a little prompting, Faith quoted six verses.
“Very good, both of you.” Mrs. Reid smiled. “Now, Grace it’s your turn.”
Grace looked from the floor to the wall opposite her. Taking a deep breath, she plunged in. “My son, forget not my law but let thine heart keep my commandments. For long life and length of days—”
Mrs. Reid held up her hand. “Start verse 2 again.”
Grace repeated, “For long life and length of days,” but again her mother stopped her.
“It’s for length of days and long life,” she gently corrected her.
Grace began the chapter over again, this time making it through verse 3 without a flaw. “That’s as far as I know,” she finished.
“Very good, Grace. You’ve got a good start on the chapter.”
Grace felt better hearing her mom’s words of praise, but she was still discouraged. Voicing her frustration, she said, “I wish Scripture memory was easier for me. I just can’t remember the verses even after I’ve said them over and over. It works for Joey, but it doesn’t seem to work for me.”
“Is there another memorizing technique that would work better for you?” asked Mrs. Reid.
“I don’t know any others to try.”
“Well, let’s pray about it, that God will help you to be able to remember the verses you’re memorizing.”
Mrs Reid and Grace each bowed their head, and aloud, Mrs. Reid prayed for help for Grace with her Scripture memory.
For the next few days, Grace struggled through her memorization, making a little progress, but still hoping and praying for a better way to memorize.
One sunny morning as she stepped out on the porch to feed S’mores, she saw Hope sitting on the porch swing, her Bible beside her. She was writing in a notebook.
“Wha’cha doing?” Grace asked, dumping a cupful of dog food into the metal pan on the porch floor.
“I’m working on Scripture memory. Could you quiz me on this passage?”
“Sure,” Grace responded cheerily.
Hope paused her swinging, so Grace could sit down. Then she handed her the Bible.
“Where do I turn to?”
“John 14.” After Grace had found the place, Hope began. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
“And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
When Hope finished, it was after quoting twenty verses and only being prompted one time.
“Wow. That was good, Hope. How do you memorize?” Grace hoped she wouldn’t say she said it over and over twenty or thirty times.
“One of the best techniques I’ve found is to write out the verses I’m trying to memorize.”
Inside Grace wanted to shout for joy! It was another memorizing technique she hadn’t tried! Aloud, she asked, “So how do you do it?
“Well, I take the last verse I know and add a new verse to it, and I write out both of them several times.
Grace thought a moment before saying, “I’m ready for verse 9 in my chapter. So I would write out verse 8 and verse 9.”
“That’s right.” Hope said.
“Ok, thank you for telling me about that. I’ll try it, and maybe, just maybe, Scripture memory will go better for me now.”
Does Scripture Memory go better for Grace Reid? Does Hope’s technique help her? To find out, you’ll have to come back for Part 2 of this story!
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