Why Doesn’t Scripture Stick?

I got two chapters into my morning Bible reading before I realized…I’d already read them.


And I couldn’t tell! My Bible flopped into my lap and I inwardly groaned. Why can’t Scripture stick in my head? No matter how many times I’ve attempted to memorize whole chapters or re-read a passage, it floats right out of my brain into thin air. If I’m lucky, a part of one verse will stay for a few weeks.


So what’s the point of reading? I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I know the point of reading is to spend time with the Lord and write His words on my heart. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like they’re being written. It feels more like I dip my heart into a bucket of Scripture goo every morning, and it dries off by evening.

“Why did you make us like this?” I asked Him. “Or is it just me?”

I’m going to guess it’s not just me.

I stared at my open Bible, re-reading the verses I’d already read and forgotten who-knows-how-many-times. As much as I’d like to have the entire Bible memorized, what would my morning hang-out times with God look like if I did?

Would I even have them?

So I wondered…maybe I’m designed like this — forgetful — in order to keep me seeking Him every morning. Many of us have seen how His word changes if we read the same passage two years later. It’s living. Breathing. And if I memorized the whole thing, I might not go back to it in the mornings and spend intentional time with the Lord. I might take my good memory for granted.

Maybe He designed some of us to be forgetful so that we’ll spend more time with Him.

There’s a verse (somewhere) that says His Spirit will bring to remembrance the things Jesus taught to us. If He expected us to memorize everything we read, then that verse wouldn’t be necessary. When I look at the times I’ve been in deep conversation with someone about spiritual things…I am empowered with the needed verses. I almost miraculously remember them in that moment.

So…I guess they are written on my heart.

But the day-to-day relationship with God is just that…a relationship, which takes daily work. Daily perseverance. I used to despair at my inability to remember the Scripture I read. But, as long as I’m reading His Word every day, it will still impact me. Change me. Grow me. And teach me to constantly pursue Him. After all, we call them devotions. To devote means to commit time, thoughts, energy…to give it all.

With that…I embrace my human weaknesses and limitations. He knows them. He created me this way. And He knew I’d keep pursuing Him anyway.

What are some of your struggles or discouragements when trying to grow in the Lord?


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About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. Gee, thanks for describing me, but protecting my identity, LOL. It is true that those scriptures come to mind when needed, by God’s grace. We know a man that DOES have most of scripture memorized. Besides being amazing to listen to, he is such a humble man that still spends much time in the word he knows so well. Truly what he has is a gift. Quite rare! (He reads Hebrew and Greek too). We’ve learned not to compare ourselves 😉

    • LOL.

      That’s amazing about the man who knows most of Scripture. I can’t imagine what that would be like — it’s such an inspiration. I continue to pray that God will infuse my mind with ability to memorize. For now, I’ll have to trust that He’ll bring it all to mind whenever I find myself without a Bible.

  2. I struggle with ‘reading’ and not just skimming. It’s like the words get lost between my eyes and my brain.

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