Have you heard the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason?” I have. Sometimes people say, “That was just meant to be.” But is that really true?
Does everything really happen for a reason? I would answer that question both yes and no. I answer, “No” to those who mean that no matter what happens, God has a reason for either allowing it to happen, or, as some believe, making it happen.
I answer, “Yes” because there is a cause and effect. The result is the effect, and the reason it happened is the cause. Let me give you an example.
Let’s Go For A Drive
Almost every driver knows that for their car engine to operate properly it needs to have the proper amount of oil. If it runs out of oil, it will ruin the engine. So, if someone’s engine gets ruined for a lack of oil, was that just meant to be? Don’t things happen for a reason? Yes, and in this case, the reason was a lack of oil.
Hopefully, for that example, most will agree. But let’s try another example. I’ll stay with the automobile for this next example too.
Suppose you have a flat tire. Was it just meant to be? Everything happens for a reason. But, what if someone stops to help you with your flat tire and over the course of the changing of the tire, you say something to that person that really helps them?
Now there are some who will argue that the flat tire happened for a reason. They actually believe that God had a hand in it. Why? Because He wanted you to be at a precise location at a precise time so that you could say something to someone that would really help them.
What About Free Will?
To some people this sounds like a very godly and spiritual event. I disagree. With that kind of thinking, we have driven off the road and are now trying to drive in a lagoon. It’s a sinking theory, because it negates the free will that God gave us.
Suppose that you were so upset or distracted with the flat tire that you didn’t speak anything to the person helping you, other than, “Thanks for the help.” Did this event still happen for a reason? Did God really have a hand in it? Some people will argue, “Well God knows if you are going to speak to the person or not.
Now I know this debate has been around for a long time. And I am certainly not going to try to present a thesis on it in this short article. But regardless of what opinion you have on the subject, ask yourself this question: If God knows what I am going to do, and what I am going to say, then do I really have any choice in the matter?
If that is true, then indeed, everything is meant to be. And perhaps that’s the reason why everything happens; it is all just meant to be. But that leaves the door wide open for lots of unaccountability. “There must be a reason why I robbed the store; I guess it was just meant to be!”
God Is At Work
Don’t get me wrong, I really do believe that God can and does get involved in the affairs of mankind. I also believe that His thoughts and His ways are far beyond the thinking of mortal human beings. I have seen God work in my life in remarkable ways. I am sure you have too.
I also know that God works in individuals on a personal level. His guiding is there. There are times that you just know you should do something, and other times that you shouldn’t.
Those who excel at this are those who, wherever they are and whatever they are doing, have a habit of asking God if there is something that they should or could do. I do understand that and I try to live that way.
But I just think we need to be careful about what we blame God for. The word “blame” may sound a bit harsh, but think about it. It’s all too easy to say, “That flat tire happened for a reason,” all the while thinking that it was God Who made your tire flat for a reason. If you are speaking on God’s behalf, you ought to be really certain that you are accurate!
We cannot just throw away the free will that God gave to us. In all of life we have choices. We can choose to be negative or we can choose to be positive. We can choose to help people or we can choose to ignore them. And we can choose to ask God if there is something special that He would have us do or say.
So, yes, everything does happen for a reason.
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