Enemies may Accumulate! But You Win!

“Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.”  So says, satirist writer, Arthur Bloch.

“Enemies accumulate,” is the funny part. Sometimes, as we get older, it sure seems that way.

Our physical friends: strength, looks, health and youth go and the enemies of weakness, wrinkles, and age come to stay.

Our relationship friends: marriages, families, children, and actual friends, go. They grow up, move on, pass away, or replace us. Enemies of loneliness, rejection, and sorrow come knocking.

Our location friends: neighborhoods, workplaces, towns, and groups go. The enemies of unfamiliar settings and situations show up.

That “enemies accumulate” laughter leaves us a bit nervous and exposed. Life is rushing on. Losing our gains, we wrestle with feeling disappointed, disillusioned and even disgruntled.

“There are no U-Haul trailers behind hearses!” Another dark joke that gets us to laugh. We all know we “can’t take it with us” but, still, it’s hard to face sometimes.  We see former things passing away. The new is becoming more of an enemy than a friend.

The Men’s Wearhouse TV ads a few years back always closed with founder, George Zimmer, looking us in the eye and declaring: “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

His “I” with the word “guarantee” personally and powerfully assured us that George would stand behind his men’s clothing products. It was reassuring.

God gives reassuring “I” messages to us as well. He guarantees, “I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” (Isaiah 46:3–4) And, “I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9–10, NLT)

Thankfully, God outdoes George. He guarantees, I’ve got you through your old age when those silly enemies start their yip-yapping!

King David testifies with an old age “I” message we can use too. He declares, “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” (Psalm 37:25, NLT)

Paul the apostle gives us an old age “I” message too. As a weak, old man in prison awaiting execution by the Roman Emperor Nero (great retirement!) Paul asserts, “I am suffering here in prison, but I am not ashamed of it. For I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.” (2 Timothy 1:12, NLT)

Do you have enemies accumulating? Follow God, David, Paul, and George by declaring “I” messages about your faith out loud and on purpose. Look those enemies in the eye and declare something like, “ I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”

It works, I guarantee it!

“Giv’m heaven!”— John Parker

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