One of the most significant memories I have from my childhood, is being tucked in by my mother every night and hearing her repeat “my blessing." As time went by, I would begin to fill in the words for her, and together we would repeat the words that have been echoed for centuries by generations and generations:
Along with that, we would recite Psalm 4:8:
Of course I wouldn’t realize the treasures my parents were sowing in me until much later.
As we are meditating on the passage in Deuteronomy this month, I have been reminded of the practical ways I have seen God’s Word come to life around me and become those flourishing promises that give me hope and strength when the going gets tough. And mothers, don’t underestimate the bits and pieces you might be able to share with your kids, because my life is proof that those seeds will sprout in the right moments. Just recently, I was in a situation where I was fearful and felt unsafe in my house. And what came back to me, challenging my faith to flourish was that Psalm we recited together so many times. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Funny how hundreds of times before I had repeated that very same passage, but the night I had my house keys stolen along with papers that had my name and address on them and a large amount of money, the Holy Spirit prompted me to say that verse out loud. It was a struggle. Fear, restlessness, preoccupations and grief fought in my spirit, as I knew I should grab onto that rock solid truth. It was no longer a game: it became a foothold and a ray of light that I know has helped me flourish in a difficult time.
And with this, I value more and more the “games” and simple ways my family has sown truth into my heart.
Today I want to share with you one of these instances that I have seen God’s word transmitted to me, and it is a practical way to etch His promises into our hearts and the little ones that surround us. Use the alphabet.
I know we could do this with plenty of other things also, like perhaps the attributes of God with each letter of the alphabet or songs or hymns…before you know it, you’ll have started a worship service!
But for today, try it with verses. See how far you can go reciting a full verse starting with each initial. Sounds easy, but hear me out. The point is not only to challenge ourselves to actually know the verse, but also to remind us what it is saying. This is a practical way that I have used to discern if I am repeating verses like a parrot or if I’ve actually learned them and know them in my heart. This sorting out is necessary in order to share them with the next generation.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have kids, like me-- but I am certain that there are younger people who look up to you or at least hang out with you in some regard. Share the joy of unearthing jewels of God’s word during a road trip: get the whole car involved in completing the alphabet of God’s words… and as you say or listen, open your heart to embrace and flourish in the promises you discover in them for your life. I’ve done it and believe me, once you get past the “corny” part and actually remember the joy of His Word, it will build you up and challenge you to search deeper still through what you have heard, read, or learned throughout the years in different Christian settings.
And when the tough times come, oh how these words will come to live!
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