Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Reason for Everything

Recently I read at least two articles taking issue with the phrase, "there is a reason for everything." One article said that it was flat out unBiblical. One said that it isn't very helpful or comforting.

I would agree that when you are in the midst of tragedy, suffering or simply even the unexpected, hearing "there is a reason for everything" can be annoying. Even if you believe that in your heart of hearts, sometimes your head has no desire to hear it.

Having been through the loss of my sister in law, I can say that hearing "there is a reason" can seem calloused. But it also is the anchor of hope that keeps us going. God cannot lie. He does not change. This hope is an anchor for our souls. It is a strong consolation. A refuge. (Hebrews 6:18-19)

But the premise that "everything happens for a reason " is an unBiblical thought? Well, I strongly disagree with that.

It absolutely is Biblical.

Not everything that happens is good. I don't believe that and I would never say that. We live in a sin filled world. Senseless killing, floods, war, human trafficking-none of that is good. But, the Bible doesn't claim all things that happen are good. As a matter of fact, Romans 8 talks about how all creation groans in pain-because of sin and its consequences.

Romans 8 then moves on to state that all things work together FOR good.

The good of believers being changed into the image of Jesus Christ.

The good of bringing glory to God.

God is glorified (elevated, praised) in all things and circumstances-good and evil. Blessing and judgement. If a happening didn't bring glory to God in some way, God would not allow it.

Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee; the remainder of wrath Thou will restrain. (Psalm 76:10)

Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:16)

God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. (Nahum 1:2-3)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)

God has His reasons for allowing both good and evil. Easy-peasy blessings, and periods of intense suffering. We don't always understand or even know God's reasons, because we aren't God. But it doesn't mean there aren't reasons.

God is sovereign and God is good. God knows the big picture, the whole story-start to finish. God rules in the tiniest details and the big inner-workings of the universe. God is working out His plan of redemption and glorification.

We are supposed to be in Charleston this week. We have been planning this trip for months. Details fell into place. We had a condo lined up and paid for. Hotels for the trip back. We had purchased tickets for a couple attractions. We had peace about going. There were no roadblocks we had blatantly ignored.

And then both of our vehicles broke down within an hour of each other on Friday night. The head gasket of the van blew. The alternator of the truck needed replaced. 

We were stranded. We prayed about it. We stood to lose over $1000 if we didn't go. We decided to rent a car on Saturday morning.

But, we weren't allowed to. We don't have credit cards and we didn't pass the credit check (no credit). We tried both our names. And then we went to a different rental place that was said to have more lenient standards. It was closed.

And we felt that door was closed.

Why? Why did this happen? Why can't we be in warm, sunny Charleston exploring and relaxing? Why do I have to explain to my excited kids that we aren't going and make their faces cave in with disappointment? Why?

What's the reason for this trip all of a sudden not happening?

God could have kept our cars in good running order. God could have made the car rental thing work.

Why didn't He? What's the reason?

Really, I don't know. 

I don't know what the reason is, but I do know there is a reason.

It may be because I forgot to pack Mr. Hippie's underwear. (and didn't realize that until I unpacked) Probably not...=)

It may be because I pray every day for the safety of our family and that God was protecting us.

It may be because our head gasket would have then blown along the route, and we'd have been stranded. And in some nasty weather.

It may be that a bigger tragedy was averted by us staying home. It may not be.

It may be that some hidden things needed to be revealed. And were.

It may be that this week here at home has been more what our family needed in terms of quality time, fellowship with other believers, rest and reconciliation. Because we have experienced those all in glorious ways this week.

It may be that we needed to be conduits of blessing to someone else by not going.

It definitely is for our good and God's glory. I may not know the exact specifics of the reasons until we get to heaven, but I know for sure that there are reasons.

I don't know why my sister in law died in a car crash last November leaving a husband and three young children. I do know that God is good, and He has good reasons. It doesn't make our loss any less painful or poignant. It does give peace which anchors the soul and brings refuge.

Do you believe there is a reason for everything?