I saw a blog the other day that read, “Dear christians, stop saying “everything happens for a reason” …… admittedly, the very title irked me. I mean, how dare she target christians AND claim to be one. Initially I wasn’t interested in reading a word of it. But after I got over the initial insult of the title, I dove in to reading her blog anyway and just as to be expected, I could agree with just about everything she had to say…. Key words: just about. I mean, I am a christian and I know the very truth in these words first spoken by Aristotle.
Now, even though I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, let me say that my loving and gracious God does not sit back on His throne just wishing bad things on His creation. God does not want cancer to steal your loved ones. God does not want you to loose everything you have in a house fire or natural disaster. God does not want children molested or beaten or abandoned. God does not want you to feel the pain of loosing a child or a parent or even a family pet. Actually, the next time you hear the statement, think about this …. Aristotle himself is presumed to have lost both his father and mother as a very young boy.. It’s really all about overcoming the battles we’re dealt and just how we do it.
God’s will was not for me to be beaten, cursed and cheated daily at the hands of my husband in my first marriage nor was it God’s will for my three children to grow up with an absent addict of a father. For years I prayed for change. My idea of change and God’s idea were completely different though. Just an unanswered prayer is what one could say, but I think of it more as Gods way is just that far greater than anything that I could have imagined. Not only do I know the truth in the statement but the very faith I hold in those five simple words, brings me great comfort knowing the good that was happening in the very wake of the worst years of my life. Clinging to the good is what allowed me to finally reach a complete forgiveness and really move on.
“God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.” ~ Jerry Bridges
God did not want to see a “perfect” marriage with 20 years of memories, a large beautiful home, good jobs, happy kids… the life that most of us dream of having … suddenly come to an end.
The husband and father just decides he wants a new life. A teenage son is left trying to figure out how exactly he is to now be the head of the house. He pushes his emotions down further so that he can care for his heartbroken mother who can’t seem to pick herself up off the floor. What good can come from a broken home? Good marriage, bad marriage, it doesn’t matter. What justifiable reason can you give to why this has to happen to innocent children?
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God does not sit back and wish hardships on families. Such as the challenges that come when raising an autistic child… All parents celebrate the day when your child can finally feed themselves… but most cannot even fathom that moment finally happening when that baby is 10 years old. You just thought it was a big deal when your 10 month old managed the spoon! When the average 16 year old high school students are meeting with their guidance counselor to discuss after high school plans but for this family they celebrate because their 16 year old son has finally been accepted into the public school system, as a middle schooler! This is huge! Unless you wear those shoes, you can’t imagine the pride and joy seeing the little things happen.
“It’s a pure love and so unconditional that it’s unbelievable how good it feels when he says “Love you too!” as he looks deep into my soul” ~ Hayden’s mommy.
To see a family with such huge, unimaginable, exhausting tasks day in and day out… to be on the outside and witness their love, their pride, the patience and grace they radiate in handling any endeavor…. Honestly it just puts me in my place when I’m feeling worn out or like just hanging it up for the night…. They have inspired and touched so many around them, maybe even introducing some to the very love of God.
“One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to those that love him is, to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them.” ~ John Wesley
God never gives us more than we can handle. Something’s just take us to our knees faster, realizing that we really can’t do it in our own strength. I have a high school friend who was in a tragic car wreck paralyzingly him from waist down. The easiest thing would have been to give up, to sulk in depression, or to self-medicate to numb the pain… But how much more inspiring is his story when all you see is that radiating smile with an encouraging attitude and the determination to make the best of everything. To see the genuine gratitude for life however it may be, is simply humbling. I sometimes struggle just to maintain a good attitude with less than half the problems.
Psalm 34:19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.
Sometimes the most devastating news is, in God’s grand plan, actually some of life’s sweetest blessings. No expectant mother wants to hear, “I’m sorry, you are carrying a baby that has Down’s Syndrome”. Obviously, I mean.. today, MORE THAN 90 percent of women who learn they have a fetus with Down syndrome choose to terminate their pregnancies. More than 90 percent!? These numbers bring a tear to my eyes.
When my brother and his wife received that news, I’m pretty sure initially, they asked God, “Why?”. I mean every mother-to-be prays for a perfect, healthy, happy baby. Well, my incredible nephew, Austin Ray, he is just that and so much more! He has one extra little chromosome and absolutely NO reason that he should not be allowed to live and breath the life that God designed and planned for him and for his mom, his dad, his sisters and brother and all the rest of us. He truly is extraordinary winning everyone’s heart that he meets and the grace that his parents portray is a testament of God’s grace for each one of us as His children.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and all the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Speaking of the peace of God, the story of the Young’s comes to mind. The most inspirational blog I think I have ever read. An expectant couple who at the 19-week ultrasound were told that the baby girl she was carrying didn’t have a brain. …. Imagine…. for just a moment…. I just can’t….
But the inspiration swells up in this blog to shine the light on the absolutely amazing woman, God chose to carry this baby. In the middle of a full body ugly cry, only 30seconds after receiving this news, she looked up at the doctor and asked, “If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?” Just. WoW. The couple recognized their baby as alive and with a great purpose over their heartache. The husband explains about his wife’s decision, “it would just be irresponsible to take the gifts that Eva has and not share them with others”….. Talk about amazing strength. On April 17th, they said hello and goodbye to their sweet baby Eva. They share how they will cherish that time with her forever but they insist it not be a sad time as they focus on the gift(s) inside that little body of hers as what really matters.
The moral of the story is there will no doubt be hardships and heartaches in this life. How would one ever realize the need for a great and mighty God if everything in life was just honky dory all the time. Ups and downs happen to the best and the worst of us, the same. All different, but still the same. It is about how we handle the trials.. but most importantly its about the source in which we pull that power from.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Nothing is just coincidence. Everything you’re experiencing is meant to happen exactly how it’s happening. God is sovereign, there are no random, out-of-control happenings (Colossians 3:3-25). While God’s purposes may be hidden from us, the task for us is learning to embrace the lessons with gratitude.
Your experiences were specifically designed by a loving and a gracious God, to shape you, define you and hopefully, grow you into the mightiest you possible and some are to simply influence those around you.
So in final closure, I won’t take back my statement that everything does in fact happen for a reason. For some good reason that only God knows and I believe one day all will be revealed. I believe that seeing the full grand of it all from the Creator’s perspective, it will all simply make perfect sense to us, then.
Without God our week would be:
Sinday Mournday Tearsday Wasteday Thirstday Fightday Shatterday
7 days without God makes one weak.
So I rest assured that no matter what this world may throw at me, He watches over me (Matthew 10: 29-31).