When I worked at Enterprise Rent-A-Car almost 25 years ago, one day someone in the office took lunch orders for sub sandwiches and made a run for the whole gang. When I saw the bag full of subs, I grabbed mine and took a bite.
Except it wasn’t mine. It was the sub marked for our assistant manager, Mike. Mike was a cocky, good-looking guy who thought he was all that, busy climbing the Enterprise ladder. He was not much into grace.
So…when he found out I had taken a bite out of his sandwich, he was hot, and he looked at me like I was dumber than a toothpick. And ever after that, he treated me just that way. You know how when someone treats you like an idiot, you end up acting like one? Yeah, that was me. Mike made me nervous, and therefore fouling up got easier and easier around him.
Once I asked him a question about a particular procedure. He replied: “That’s a dumb question. Don’t ask dumb questions.”
Eventually I was transferred to another office, and we lost contact. Some time later I heard through the grapevine that he was demoted…or passed over for promotion, or something along those lines. Whatever it was, he and Enterprise parted ways.
Time passed, and one day at the office, I got a call for a rental…from Mike. I remember the sense that things weren’t going so well for him (surprise, surprise), and I think he needed some sort of a favor in the rental deal. It was within my purview to grant it, and I did. Then, realizing that he hadn’t been so kind to me in the past, he expressed surprise at my helpfulness. I don’t remember how I responded, but Mike knew I was a Christian.
Hopefully he connected the dots.
Maybe you have had an enemy like Mike at the office…or in the neighborhood…or in your own family. If so, you know they can definitely make life horrible. And if you’re going through life facing an enemy lately, I have a thought from Scripture that might just help you to respond like Christ.
It’s a line from the song Moses sang before he departed from the Children of Israel…
For their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves. Deuteronomy 32:31 (ESV)
By themselves. Isn’t that stark? Your enemy may be after you, but he or she is…all alone. I think of that classic lyric by Eric Carmen, in his song, All by Myself:
I think of all the friends I’ve known
But when I dial the telephone
All by myself
Don’t wanna be, all by myself anymore
All by myself
Don’t wanna live, all by myself anymore
If you are a Christian facing an enemy, you do not face him alone; you have the Rock! And conversely, no matter how powerful he seems, he is still all by himself. And if it is a group of folks plotting your demise, they receive no supernatural help. All alone…in a cold, dark world. How sad and broken. How hopeless. How much they need Christ.
How much we all do.
…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 (ESV)