Everything Does NOT Happen For A Reason!
I cringe a bit when this line, or some form of it, percolates to the top of a conversation:
“Well, everything happens for a reason…I guess it was just meant to be.”
It’s not Biblical.
Pain and disease and death and loss are inevitable fixtures of life because this is earth and not heaven.
When people play the “meant to be” card, they are inferring that difficulties are not supposed to be part of this life. That life should be easy when we accept Christ. That we are somehow cheated when things don’t go our way.
This “easy life” myth is quickly shattered when REALITY enters the picture. We are not vaccinated against pain by our faith. Actually, it’s the opposite. God uses discomfort and challenge to bring us closer to him.
While God certainly gives our lives meaning, the idea that everything we suffer, all the horrible experiences we’ve ever endured, have a purpose and meaning is actually harmful to our Christian walk.
Not everything happens for a reason, but everything that happens can ultimately be redeemed and used by God for a purpose to bring hope and healing to others.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
It’s ok that everything does not happen for a reason as long as we don’t use it as an excuse to be pessimistic and full of futility when we don’t understand what is happening around us.
Instead, when the “reason” for something is unclear, we should go to God—not for full clarification–but for his larger perspective on our life and our purpose and our service to him and his Kingdom.
God is not looking for us to figure out the reason for everything. He is looking for us to walk with him through everything. Through the valley of disease. Through the unfathomable pain of loss. Through the stress of financial pressure.
He wants us to draw close to him in the midst of the uncertainty so he can use the events to shout his message of mercy, grace, forgiveness and hope.
Here are a few questions I ask myself on a regular basis to keep my perspective on uncertainty in check:
- Am I comfortable when things happen without any apparent reason or purpose?
- Am I using those situations as opportunities to deepen my connection with God and discern his perspective and plan for me going forward?
- Am I living to figure out the reason for everything or to know what God would have me to for him with my life?
We need to ask God to help us become comfortable with uncertainty by going into his inner sanctuary for comfort and understanding, even when it’s hard to find. That will give us the confidence we need to trust him down in the dark tunnel of unknown events and circumstances.