I used to believe “everything happens for a reason.” But when a life-changing tragedy struck my family, I stopped believing that. A man committed suicide by walking in front of our car. It was very dark, I was driving on a major highway going almost 65 mph, my daughters were with me. God is great, we felt the protection of his angels, we made it through the impact. I cannot fathom a reason God would allow or send this horrific thing upon us. I cannot believe this was part of a plan for our lives.
(I made you anonymous just in case.)
I’m sincerely sorry. After going through your blog, it could not have happened to a nicer person. I couldn’t even begin to tell you “why” this might have happened or how it would work out for good. It’s not my place, and I won’t even try to guess.
It’s an amazing testament of you as a person that you can still say “God is great.” I’ve been through some stuff but not anything remotely similar, and I can’t imagine still saying “God is great” afterwards. Maybe that’s too honest, but I’m at times easily shaken. That’s the truth.
I will not try to lecture you. I can only say: I believe everything happens for a reason because I believe every person has a reason for existing. Even the man who chose to commit suicide in front of you — there was a reason for him. If I begin to say that certain events have no meaning, I would have to also say the same thing of certain people, and we would have to infinitely regress in conclusion that an entire family, bloodline, or generation is pointless. Then it’s either, “All things have meaning” or “No things have meaning.” But I cannot choose some.
I could never look at someone and say, “The things happening to you have no eternal purpose.” I don’t know what that purpose is. If God does things in His own timeline — an endless chronology stretching back and forth forever — then we may never find out why He does those things. I simply trust that if God could not use something for the eternal good, He would not allow it because He Himself is good.
Please know that I am well aware this is a trite, packaged, pie-in-the-sky answer that a fresh seminarian could tell you. It’s not a truth that I’m always willing to embrace, either. I have plenty of questions for God when I finally see Him face to face. And I’m certain He will answer them, with satisfaction, or perhaps in light of God’s presence, I won’t much care. He will be enough.
Again, I’m sorry for your pain. I will throw a prayer your way, for you and your family. You are certainly an amazing testimony.
As always, I must quote my kindred brother C.S. Lewis.
“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?”