It’s hard to live among the godless. It’s hard to accept that such a person exists.
There are people who really do not care about anyone or anything unless it benefits them in some way. There really are people who do not truly value others or themselves. They have no real understanding of consequences or care for what their actions bring. They only want to consume as much pleasure as they can in the moment or resist as much care or obligation as possible.
There are people who will tear down anyone or anything that inconveniences them in the slightest, or God forbid, holds them to even the most minor of standards of natural affection, duty, and care for fellow man.
There are people who do not take care of anything. They only use up. There are people who do not value anything unless it can bring temporary pleasure or relief from the painful truth about just how empty and dead they are inside.
There are people who cannot see people. They cannot see themselves. They cannot see the harm the do, or maybe they simply do not care. They do not care that they destroy everyone around them as they cling to an existence that is as void of meaning, connection, responsibility, and care as possible.
The lives of others have no value to them. Their own life has no value to them. They are like animals that just exist in the moment, doing whatever seems expedient at the time without regard for what their actions will cause even moments from now. Someone can stand right in front of them, pleading with tears and they do not care. The tears only make them angry. How dare you inconvenience them so?
It’s hard to think these people are real, but they are. What’s harder is knowing how to deal with them as the pit inside your soul grows, fills with rage, self-hate, and questioning.
Why does God allow this? Is He really with us? Has He abandoned us?
Maybe we suffer because of our sin. Sometimes God allows destructive people and other forces into our lives because parts of us need to be destroyed. It’s painful, and sometimes it seems like the good things in us will die too. Our compassion, our love for others, our hope, our motivation, our care for doing the things we must do in this life. Our faith.
We fear that we will turn into them one day. Empty and destructive. They became that way for a reason, and they create more like themselves as they kill, steal, and destroy.
Yet, we hold on to the faith. We know that God will not abandon us. He will let the pain purge us from our selfishness, our vain ambitions in this world, our idolatries, and our love of wicked things.
If we continue in the faith, the love of Jesus will keep us. It will not die out. Our lights will not go out because He fills our lamps with everlasting oil. We will find a strong love of that which is good, true, pure, kind, loving, patient, meaningful, courageous, and strong as we wait for our Lord to come and avenge us.
Sometimes we do not suffer because of sin, but because we continue in a good thing as we avoid doing sin that would make our escape possible. We could escape by harming those that harm us. We could escape by denying the teachings of Jesus. We could escape by becoming whatever the wicked want, just to avoid their wrath for a little while.
Yet, we can’t because our faith will not allow us to. We might succumb in small ways at times, but we will not be moved. We will turn to God and we will be made strong.
If we suffer in faith while doing that which is good, we have a reward in Heaven that nothing and no one can steal from us.
So, we push on. We seek Jesus and we lift our spirits as we praise Him. We thank Him for caring enough about our spiritual growth to allow us to suffer. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes.”
We do not suffer for no reason. Whether we suffer for sin, whether we suffer for righteousness sake, or whether we suffer as Job simply because Satan wants to prove that those who follow God are easily overthrown, we will overcome because Jesus overcame first.
He will keep us. We can keep looking to Him, praise Him for all He has done, and know that even though our enemies seem to get away with it all and live in ease as we barely cling to life, they will come to and end and none will help them.