Logic sustains for a moment because it provides a mechanism by which we maintain order in our lives. Yet, if we conclude the timing of our circumstances is disproportionate, we must also decide if this is an issue of fairness in a world controlled by a powerful God, a characteristic of fate in a world without God, or something in-between. (from last post)
This choice leads us from logic to the question of supernatural influence. The fatalist accepts inequality as a universal principle embedded in the human experience. However, those who believe in a God who participates in the lives of His creatures look beyond principle to the reality of divine option. The One with absolute knowledge and vision has the freedom to exercise his wisdom in infinite ways to accomplish His purposes. Those who trust in God, finding themselves on the losing side of mathematic odds, instinctively assume there must be a heavenly reason for their circumstances. From their perspective, nothing happens without a reason.
A few years ago I sat in my office with a young woman who had lost nearly every member of her family within the span of a year. The first two were murdered, a third died of cancer, a fourth of a massive heart attack and a fifth, the cause of our meeting, from cancer. I began our conversation by projecting my presumptions of her doubts and fears, followed by my presentation of a theological framework for contending with God. When I finally paused, this dear woman looked at me with a confident countenance and said, “Momma always taught us to trust God whether we understand what is happening in our lives or not. I believe everything happens for a reason and that’s what I’m holding on to.”
I am in basic agreement with this “for a reason” approach, with the caveat that the force behind the happening includes both those things God causes and those things He allows. In addition, I assume “reason” is defined by things of eternal importance versus the mere origin of an event. This means God’s “reasons” trump those purposed by the Prince of Darkness and his bent toward destruction.
When Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, they put his life in danger and brought incredible pain into their father Jacob’s life. In the years that followed Joseph was slandered, imprisoned and abandoned, but God preserved him as a part of a bigger plan. Later, after Joseph was reunited with his brothers, their father Jacob died. His brothers were afraid Joseph would repay them for their evil so they fabricated a will from their father pleading for forgiveness. Joseph released them with this response: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV) Yes, God’s reasons trump the Prince’s purposes every time.
Do you believe everything happens for a reason? Do you have to know the reason?
Dear God, help me reason through the reasons. In Jesus’ name, Amen.