There are a number of boxes, gadgets, and doohickies in our shed, closets, and drawers that we have kept because they “might be useful some day.” They just sit there waiting – hoping that someday they fulfill their purpose – useless until useful. I walked out into the backyard this morning and discovered that Cyndy found a use for a box I decided to hang on to a few days ago. The box had acquired a secondary purpose. Like the doohickey – or thing-of-a-jig – that becomes the perfect “tool” to complete an odd job around the house.

Once a “might be useful someday” object serves a purpose it is no longer possibly useful. It is indispensable. It can collect dust for years, but it will not be thrown away. On the premise that because it has been useful once – or twice as the case may be – it will inevitably be useful again. Even though that might not be the case.

I have found that for some people, and some Christians, the Bible is simply one of those things to have around because it might be useful some day. They take it to church on Sunday if they remember it. “After all, they have one in the pew.” Then they never actual open it. Why bother when the lay reader is reading it to them. And the preacher will remind them if their thoughts happen to drift.

But – sure enough – a time comes when their Bible becomes useful. Tragedy strikes family or friends. A job is lost, a relationship ends, or any one of any number of life-changing events occur. Then their Bible again has purpose. It eases their mind, softens their heart, soothes their soul, or simply provides comfort. Their Bible has become indispensable.

Unfortunately, there are too many Christians to whom the Bible is something waiting to be useful. They have not discovered the life-changing story of the Israelite’s history, the life and death on the cross of Jesus, or the forgiving grace of God. They have not felt their “heart strangely warmed” as John Wesley did. They have not had their souls cleansed with God’s grace.

With persecuted Christians around the world clamoring for Bibles and materials to continue their spiritual journey with Christ, it is sad that many Christians in our part of the world have a Bible that they never use. I have had a Bible – and have been a Christian – for as long as I can remember. Beginning with the pocket-size New Testament I received when I began attending Sunday school. I have always had a Bible at hand. Unfortunately though, there were times when I felt I was keeping it around “in case it was useful.”

When I finally felt the Lord’s nudging and again opened my Bible for study and prayer, I ceased to think of the Bible as being “potential useful.” It is a part of my day, my life, my profession, and our family life. I feel uncomfortable when too much time has passed since our last visit. The Bible, once thought of as potentially useful, has become indispensable.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 NRSV.

Peace be with you.