I confess that memorizing scripture is one of my least favorite and least practiced disciplines. In the past, I have been active to etch the words of scripture onto my mind and into my heart. Not so much of late, and sadly, I have forgotten so many wonderful passages that I had memorized. Such active work requires ol' fashioned, time-on-task. Simply put, it requires diligence.
Memorization is not just putting it in your head and locking it away. It is active meditation--desiring to understand and seeking to appropriate its meaning to our lives. By the Word, through the Spirit, we are transformed in our character and conduct. This active meditation is a means by which we entrust our lives to God's will (surrender) and walk forward (action) in light of such transformation.
A couple of thoughts together put this post to mind. One, I am studying for a bible content exam. Part of the exam entails memorizing a plethora (such an underused word!) of verses. So I am putting them to memory. Second, this morning I spent some time in 1 Peter, specifically 1 Peter 1:13-17. A lot of my thoughts were focused around the idea of "preparing your mind for action."
This line of thinking was in conjunction with today's verse that I was memorizing.
[Esther 4:14] "For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"Of course understanding the context of the surrounding verses and the context of the book of Esther is important to understand this verse in light of scripture's redemptive story, but this verse really challenged me today.
The phrase "who knows" jumped out. I am not Esther and I am not an exiled Jew in Persia, but I do know relief and deliverance comes from the hand of the LORD. I am not privied to know the circumstances, nuances, and ways in which he will carry out such relief. Ultimately, I know such deliverance culminates in Jesus, the Christ. But day-to-day situations, I do not.
It comes from His hand, AND he asks us to "go and do likewise." Who knows why stuff happens the way it does? Sometimes we are not meant to know the why's (more often, we should not attempt to know). We are to trust that his ways are sure and his paths are straight...and walk forward (and actively prepare to do so).