“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the Earth.”
When I was a little girl of eight, my parents had me take piano lessons. Playing piano was not something that came naturally to me and I plodded throughout my daily practice time. My teacher despaired of me; assigning me only the simplest of tunes to play. Within a year or two, we all gave up on my piano lessons.
Several years later when I was a young teen, I wandered over to the family piano one afternoon and sat down. I picked up my old piano lesson books and began to pick out the familiar melodies. For whatever reason, this time I was interested in learning to play. Daily, I practiced and re-learned every song. Eventually, I progressed to playing more advanced pieces and eventually had twenty or so tunes, melodies, hymns and etudes memorized. I loved to sit down at the piano after school and either play certain pieces that fit my mood, or sometimes to go through my entire repertoire. My mother, working in the kitchen, told me years later that, although in the beginning I stumbled and hesitated; over the months, the music found its way into my heart and the joy, enthusiasm and love for what I was playing rang throughout the house. Because I’d memorized the songs, I carried them with me wherever I went; no lesson books or sheet music required. One special afternoon while on vacation in the country-side of England, I performed an impromptu concert for the other residents of the B&B as we were all stuck indoors due to inclement weather.
Decades later, I find myself going through the same procedure as I memorize selected scripture verses. I initially stumble and bumble my way through the memorization process; making mistakes and forgetting the words. Even after I’ve correctly memorized it, it sounds mechanical and robotic when I speak it out loud. Yet I persist, and at some magical point, the scripture moves from its place in my head and takes up residence in my heart. As I pray or recite the verses, either the ones that fit my mood or circumstances or every single one I’ve committed to memory thus far; the words come pouring out of my mouth with even more joy, enthusiasm and love than those songs I played long ago on the piano.
Alas, I’ve long since given up playing the piano, but God’s Word is something I’ll never give up. Who knows when I might be called upon to perform a much-needed impromptu concert?
“I treasure your word in my heart, so that I will not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105