Tag Archives: Bible

Remembering Scripture

I write this, not from the kitchen sink a la “I Capture the Castle”, but underneath a baby who has  finally decided to succumb to sleep.

He’s two weeks old and I’ve never felt more inspired and yet unable to write.

Babies do strange things to your brain.

It was a difficult start for us as a family; a long labour followed by a chest infection for the baby and soaring blood pressure for me meant a week long stay in hospital and now we’ve finally had a whole week at home, Phil’s gone back to work and we are trying to find a new normal.

And amidst the madness, I’ve relied on memorised chunks of scripture like never before. It’s not something I’ve ever done to be honest; recited scripture, I’ve always preferred to read it. But in the semi darkness of the a hospital ward at three in the morning, I leant on the words that I’d memorised by accident.

Psalm 40 (or an approximation of it) circled around my mind for hours on end and I chewed upon each verse, drawing something that looked like strength from its contents.

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.”

I didn’t wait very patiently to be discharged from hospital – quite the opposite in fact – but I felt tangibly that God was hearing my cries and that He would put a new song in my mouth.

I’m beyond grateful for the scriptures my mind stored away for a rainy night and for a God who speaks through ancient words remembered in the dark of night.

And in this new phase of life; when time is both short and plentiful, I want to commit to memorising passages, not only so that I can call on them in times of need, but so that I can soak them up and experience more of the God of scripture that I may be transformed by Him.

As Eugene Peterson wrote so beautifully:

“Christians don’t simply learn or study or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in such a way that it gets metabolized into acts of love, cups of cold water, missions into all the world, healing and evangelism and justice in Jesus’ name, hands raised in adoration of the Father, feet washed in company with the Son.”

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I love my degree

I love my degree. 

I feel enormously privileged that I get to study the word of God, every day. That I get to sit with some of the world’s best theological scholars and just have a chat! That I get to be in a place where people care, about me, about my dreams and about my calling. 

I am writing an essay at the moment about the comfort of God. About how we can communicate the comfort of God to those struggling with mental illness, reading the Bible, what scholars have said about the Bible and how they have illuminated the text. 

I get to grapple with the text and work out how best to encourage and comfort those suffering. 

Of course there are times when I’ve been exhausted and tired and not really want to write another word! But still, I love my degree. 

I am excited about what is coming next – but I can say – without a doubt that these have been the most difficult, most wonderful years of my life. 

I love my degree. And I thank God that I’ve been able to do it!

You are not alone

It’s the name of a song by Michael Jackson and that statement has been a source of comfort for many for many years.

This year, I have realised more than ever that these words are watermarked right through the Bible. When we muck up,we can see how God used David even when he got things so badly wrong, when we scoff at God promises, we can see how a barren Sarah laughed when she was promised a son, before going onto Mother a nation. When the task God has given us seems too much- we can remember Moses who, despite his inadequacies led the Israelites out from Egypt. When we are in agony, we can look to Jesus’ own agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and know that we are not alone. The Bible reminds us again and again that God is Immanuel, even during the hardest of times.