“I can’t remember that genetic syndrome. It’s that one with numerous skeletal abnormalities… Conrad or something like that. Do you remember?”
“I got it.”
My medical school classmate confidently opened his textbook. A rainbow of colors danced before me as he flipped through the pages until he found the passage for which he was seeking. Pointing to a word highlighted in pink he proudly proclaimed, “Here it is! Conradi-Hunermann syndrome!”
My classmate, Jake, always highlighted his textbooks with a myriad of colors. In an era before the internet, before one could avail of a quick internet search to retrieve an obscure fact, highlighting key passages and words in our textbooks was a simple solution and is still useful as many can attest. I even electronically highlight every virtual book I read, including the Bible. When I mentioned this to my pastor, he smiled and said, “I used to do that too but not any longer.”
“I found I would highlight nearly every single passage. This may sound trite but I realized that every word and passage was important. So I stopped doing it.”
I nodded and smiled. My pastor’s prodigious knowledge of the Bible was admirable and well-known. I suspected that he did not have to use a highlighter since he probably memorized most of the Bible! Unfortunately, that is not me and I need every memory aid that I can utilize.
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
Proverbs 30:5-6 (ESV)
There are many passages that I read in the Bible that I gloss over. Do I need to know that 53,400 men from the tribe of Naphtali were able to serve as soldiers? (Numbers 1:42-43) What about knowing Nereus was a believer in ancient Rome and a colleague of the Apostle Paul? (Romans 16:15) I can answer these questions with the same reasoning I use when I was attempting to remember an obscure genetic syndrome. I may not need to have access to this information every day but there are times when it is helpful to quickly retrieve it. Highlighting allows me to quickly find the passages.
And I do confess a little guilty pleasure in attempting to learn every seemingly obscure fact of the Bible. Someday, when I am in Heaven in the presence of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I will meet every one of the great saints who are mentioned in the Bible. The men of Naphtali, Nereus, and thousands of others will be there. Like the satisfaction I receive when I recall an obscure disease, how much greater will the pleasure be to meet someone whom I have read and studied in the Bible, forever memorialized by God Himself?
Most of my Bible is highlighted. It is a continual reminder that I still need to persist and grow in my faith to learn and memorize every word that God has given us through the Bible.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.