Christine writes: Have you ever found yourself, in the midst of unimaginable grief, pain, heartache or despair, wondering how you are going to make it through another day? Wondering where your next breath is going to come from? Your world has crumbled beneath you and you are left feeling shattered, empty and hopeless.And then a well meaning person comes along and drops the infamous “Everything happens for a reason” bomb?*
I would not have described the phrase as a "bomb" but it feels like that to her and it may to many others. But I do sometimes feel perplexed by this supposedly comforting phrase "everything happens for a reason" and often followed by something like -" God's got it all under control"... When that happens, I'm wondering are they saying that God's got some reason to make us ill, in pain, heartbroken or in mental anguish? I've prayed "Lord, if you are trying to teach me something through this, please help me to be a fast learner" But we all, including myself, stumble around with our words in those times when we are trying to encourage or comfort our friends and we realize most people mean well when they say things like this. So, I'm hoping that maybe we can kind of think this through together.
Christine describes her experience this way: I spent years searching for answers, trying to find reasons that would bring an end to my pain. I thought that if I could find the cause, I could treat the condition. But what I found through years of searching, experiencing and living is that sometimes bad things happen for no reason other than we are human beings having a human experience. Pain, heartache, grief, loss, disease and death are inevitable parts of the human experience. *
Just as I have not suffered exactly the pains someone else has and no one else has suffered exactly as I have and although no two life paths have been the same, the one thing we do share is that we are all humans. Now, just imagine you are God and you look down below and see every human's path drawn out. It would look like a bowl of spaghetti.
In some places of each of our paths, we will cross other's pathway or walk along beside them for a while, but at some point, the paths will separate again. That's because God lets us make choices and it causes the uniqueness of our own life path.
I so agree with her about the conclusion she has reached about God’s will: "God's will is not the path we walk, but rather how we walk the path. God’s will is not for an innocent child to be brutally murdered. God’s will is not for a teenage girl to be raped. God’s will is not chronic pain, illness, disability or death. God’s will is not an event that happens to us. God’s will is for us to draw close to him in the midst of pain, sorrow, grief. God’s will is for us to use our painful life events to carry his message of hope, grace, forgiveness and mercy." *
So, here's what I think about this idea of "everything happens for a reason": If "everything does happen for a reason", many times it is not a comforting, holy or loving reason of our Heavenly Father's, but, instead, the tragic, enduring outcome of the decree God made to Adam and Eve when he forced them out of the garden. He told them they would, from then own, work hard to put food on the table and feel pain and know sorrow as children were born to them. But, forcing them out was, actually, a loving kindness thing that He did for them. If he had left them in the garden, I feel pretty sure they would have eventually been tempted into eating of the Tree of Life also. Thank God He did not let that happen, or they would have lived on for eternity with evil and the sorrow and pain of it mingled into their lives! As it was, the 930 years of Adam's life were a continual revelation of evil as he saw hearts broken and lives lost because of jealousy, murdering, stealing, envy, hatred, sexual sins and every other kinds of evil. My guess is that he wished many times that he had never eaten that fruit from that tree of good and evil and learned how horrible evil is. Though, originally, God placed Adam and Eve in a paradise of wonder and goodness and though they could actually walk and talk face to face with God Almighty, it wasn't enough to them. They wanted to know about the evil as well as the good, enough to disobey their protector, provider, loving Father, friend and creator. So, all of humanity shares in knowing not only the good, but the evil and pain of this earthly existence. I'm so thankful that Jesus came and made a way that our life paths can be changed and we can walk and talk with our Heavenly Father again on this earth while embracing the hope of eternity in Heaven when this life is finished. God's got it under control, but only if we love Him and let Him because everything happens for a reason!
* http://www.faithit.com/christine-suhan-christians-stop-saying-everything-happens-reason/ by Christine Suhan a wife, stay at home mother to three wild toddler boys and writer/creator . She has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and enjoys helping people through openly and honestly sharing her journey of life, recovery, mental illness, marriage, parenting and more.