From my website: www.andreamacvicarministries.org

 

A "profound atheist" wrote to me in a birthday card: "If you have burdens, wish I could share them with you." I replied with the following comments.

 

I wasn't sure how to answer your question about what my burdens are. I thought about my life, and these are the answers to your question.

 

We, all of us, are in containers called bodies. These containers, from the time we are born, to throughout the time in which we live is constantly tried in a crucible of growth and suffering. So it is for all of us humans until our containers breakdown. This breakdown is called death. While we are still in this crucible called life (living) we all witness evil, wars, poverty, and imposed destruction because of human greed and selfishness and pride. We experience and observe suffering. And we look for answers to this human condition called life. We are all burdened by our own and also the suffering of others, no matter what we label the causes. We are also burdened by the weight of our own helplessness in the face of anger and hatred, violence and vengeance, rejection and sorrow— when our natural desire from the moment we are born is to be loved and cherished, and to be approved of and accepted by others without condition.

 

All of us journey through philosophies and ideals to come to the realization that the study, the learning, the thinking, the questioning, the work to determine how best to fill our great need to be loved and approved of, but no matter how hard we try to discover it, much to our disappointment, we come to realize we can never be loved and cherished as we had hoped and worked for. We discover we have a hole inside, an empty space within that longs to be filled with satisfaction, safety, love and peace. So we search for all four in our relationships with others who are searching for the same. This is the burden of the human condition.

 

And, after discovering that our relationships with others (who are also doing the same thing) isn't sufficient or satisfying , we spend years trying to fill our needs by seeking our answers through education, programs, systems, philosophies, debates, or by political and social networking, through various belief systems, or by wealth, beauty, talent, and self achievement. But no matter what we do, how hard we work, how great our achievements are, even with superior knowledge we all come to these questions: Is this all there is to life? Because if this is all there is then what is the purpose of life? Not in general, but specifically my life? Why was I born? Why am I here? Where am I going? I know I'm here today, but I can be gone tomorrow. Or, a minute from now. Isn't there something more? Something lasting? Permanent?

 

Even when we are children, we may not be aware that we are asking those questions—but we do.

 

"Mommy, Daddy, Auntie, Teacher, do you love me? Do you care about me? Am I pretty? Am I handsome? Am I smart? I know sometimes I disobey you. I'm sorry. Forgive me? Do you still love me when I'm bad? Will you always be there for me, no matter what I do?"

 

But the world and its knowledge, even with our education and study of its complexity cannot fill us, cannot give us what we are continually seeking: love, peace, acceptance, and safety.

 

Here is the answer to filling our inner void and lifting the burdens of our life. The answer is in our accepting a relationship offered to us that never disappoints, never causes fear, and never rejects us. Here is a relationship that is eternal, complete, trustworthy, and answers all our human questions. This relationship is not based on ritual, religion, philosophy, a system or organization, but on growing us up to know we are loved beyond measure. Not because we deserve to be loved, but because someone perfect exchanged His life for imperfect us in order for us to be free in His love and that He alone is the answer to our needs and has the answers to our questions. He is love. He is peace. He is acceptance. He is safety. He is Jesus Christ.

         

          Jesus says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14:6.)  And, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for you souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." (Matthew 11:28-30.) And, "For God so loved the world that H gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him." (John 3: 16, 17.)

          "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

          "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us—for whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 2:18-20; 3:23; 5:8, 12; 10:13.) NAS

 

I do appreciate your good wishes in your card to me. After our many conversations, perhaps you will consider that my answer could be yours as well.

 

Andrea

©2022 Andrea MacVicar