Our daughter is 3 years old now. She is very bright for her age, and I don't just say that as a biased mom. She leaves people with their mouths hanging open at some of the things she knows and says. Her Sunday school teacher got really excited a few weeks ago because Avari actually didn't already know the story they were studying that day.
Seriously, the kid has a good number of her books memorized. I don't mean just a little bit. She can quote them word for word. So, a few weeks ago we decided that it was a good time to start helping her memorize scripture. She took to it like a fish to water.
So far, in the past 4 weeks she's memorized John 3:16, I John 1:9, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalms 23:1-6 and Jeremiah 29:11-13. She can say them all flawlessly without any prompting. It makes my heart proud to hear her as she's playing just begin to quote the word of God.
Now, I know full well that she does not completely grasp the meaning of the words she is quoting. We explain the scriptures to her as we work on memorizing them so they won't just be words. But I know it will be years before she is able to fathom what she's learned. So, what's the point, right?
Well, there's a scripture that I have memorized. It is Psalm 119:11. It says, "I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." I believe that the more of Papa's words I can plant in my heart the better. And I believe that the benefits go even beyond not sinning against Him. His words comfort me when I am struggling. I find wisdom and insight into situations based on the scriptures. The list could go on and on.
My plan is to pass that gift along to my daughter. When she grows older and begins to feel she is unworthy, she can remember that in John 3:16 the scripture tells her our Father loves her so much He sent His only son to save us. When she feels that she is mired in her own sins and faults, she will know that she is promised purity from all unrighteousness when she confesses her sin to Papa. If she should question her direction in life, Proverbs 3:5-6 will remind her that she can place her trust in Him and He will guide her. Psalm 23 can provide her the assurance that her Father watches over and protects her, guides her and keeps her. And Jeremiah 29:11-13 will remind her that there is a God-ordained purpose for her life that none can question.
Is it too early to have her hide His words in her heart? I think not. If she has them hidden firmly, she will not have to seek them too earnestly before she finds them. They will be there to wrap her in the love and grace of her Father, our Father. May we all hide His words in our hearts!