I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” –Psalm 119:11
As a little girl dressed in Sunday best and wearing white gloves, I would turn the beautiful gold-trimmed pages of my prayer book. But I would wince when I read, “Wherefore, fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of Thy servants as may be most expedient for them.” I was a dutiful child, and so I obediently memorized the liturgy even though the words sounded old and dusty.
Back then I did not realize the value of memorizing prayers for catechism class. I didn’t appreciate the treasure of psalms and verses I was storing up. And even if I had been told that “God’s Word never returns void,” I would have said, “Huh?”
Years later, the riches I had hidden away in my heart as a child paid a marvelous dividend. During dark lonely nights in the hospital, chunks and pieces of long-ago psalms and prayers floated to the surface of my memory. I could almost see page fourteen of the Book of Common Prayer and the words, though old and dusty, glowed with the soft patina of timeless truth as I repeated them in a whisper:
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and lovingkindness to us, and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful.
Because Your Word will never return void, help me to hide it in my heart, Lord Jesus.