April 23, 2021

Pastoral Nuggets: Buddies

My oldest son, who is now 45-years-old, was somewhere around 10-years-old when my wife taught him a tremendous life lesson.

He needed some new tennis shoes.

So, my wife loaded him and his sisters into the car and made her way to K-mart in LaGrange.

On the way there she told him not to expect Nike’s or some expensive name brand shoe.

She explained to him that momma and daddy just did not have the money to purchase an expensive pair of shoes and that she was going to buy him some store brand shoes. (We were so poor back then that if you looked up “poor” in the dictionary, you would have found a picture of our little family!)

Quite naturally, he had his mind set on getting name brand shoes and he was not happy at all that this was not going to happen. So, he made the mistake that many a child makes.

In his zeal to convince his momma to buy him what he wanted; he engaged his mouth.

He told her things like, “If you love me, you will buy me what I want.” “All my friends have a pair!” “Everybody will make fun of me for wearing ‘Buddies.’” (That’s what they called store brand items way back then!) And on and on he went.

They arrived at the store, and under continued protests, she dragged him in and bought him a pair of “Buddies.”

All the way back to the car his mouth was still engaged. To say the least, he was not a happy camper!

As Marianne exited the parking lot and turned onto Commerce Avenue, he was still at it.

I picture what happened next as a scene from one of the old Popeye cartoons, when Popeye says, “I’ve done stood all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!”

She held the steering wheel with her left hand, took her right hand and reached across to the passenger seat where he was sitting, and popped him dead in the mouth! Stunned, he got the message and shutup.

Later, either he, or one of his sisters, asked Marianne why she popped him in the mouth and not on his backside. Her answer was classic. She said, “Because his backside was not what was getting him into trouble. It was his mouth!

There is a story in the Bible that is not too dissimilar from this.

In Isaiah chapter 6, starting with verse 1, you will find where King Uzziah had died. Isaiah loved King Uzziah. This was a great personal tragedy for the man of God. But in the midst of his great personal tragedy, we see where God revealed His glory to Isaiah as never before.

Isaiah says, “Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Do not miss this – in the midst of one of the most horrific times in Isaiah’s life, he experienced the holiness and presence of God – as never before!  God still works the same today.

In what we deem to the most horrific circumstances in our lives, if we will just look, we can see the glory of God displayed as never before.

In verses 5-7 we see where the glory of God exposed Isaiah’s sinful condition. He exclaimed that he was a man of unclean lips and that he dwelt among a people of unclean lips.

In short, as with my son, his mouth was his problem. So, God sent an angel who flew to the altar of God with some tongs, took a red-hot coal off the altar, and placed it upon Isaiah’s lips. (Popped him dead in the mouth!)

The fires of hell had been unleashed in Isaiah’s lips, but the holy fire of God purged his lips!

The simple truth of this article today is that the more God’s glory is revealed in our lives, the more specific God becomes in revealing to us and purging us from our besetting sin! You see, God had Smart Bomb technology long before the US Military. He always hits His target!

Brother Aaron

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