We cling to this idea that “everything happens for a reason” because we can’t be content not knowing. We want to see the promised hand of God in everything, so we constantly sift through our decisions like tea-leaves in the bottom of a cup, waiting for God’s Will to form so we can say–ah, there it is, that’s why. There’s the reason that happened to me.
We want the events of our lives to be plainly linked together like a divine necklace, so we can see how each day clasps neatly into the next to form a perfect circle–our own cosmic rosary we can pinch between our fingers and count His promises on. When life becomes unpredictable, we insist on creating meaning and order out of the chaos. We want to be able to plug in the numbers, apply the correct formula, and end up with the Will of God everytime.
That is why we play seven degrees of finding the reason in our current everything. If I had never done this, then I would have never gotten that. We must be able to look over our shoulder and see the trail of decision dominoes we’ve made– good and bad–leading us back in a clear path to the finger of God.
It is exhausting, trying to find a reason for everything. There are too many odd shaped pieces that don’t fit, so we just mash them together and hope in the end, it forms a recognizable picture. If it doesn’t, we just squint our eyes and pretend, as if it were an abstract painting others aren’t enlightened enough to appreciate.
But, maybe there isn’t a reason for everything. Maybe the only lesson God is trying to teach us is: sometimes bad things happen to good people and good things happen to evil people–because the world is broken and so is everyone in it. Maybe we need to stop sifting through the tea-leaves of our existence for proof of God’s work in us and just believe, not that everything will turn out ok, because sometimes it won’t. Not that things will get better, because they might not–ever. But that we don’t need to know. We don’t need to see the reason for everything rising out of the sludge at the bottom of a teacup. We don’t need to see proof, we just want to see proof, like Thomas wanting to see the holes in Christ’s hands. We don’t need to know, we just want to know, like Eve wanted to know in the garden of Eden. We want to know like God knows, like only He can. That is where the lesson lies. When we don’t know, when everything seems to point to nothing, to random meaningless–there is a reason, and it is not pointing to what we think God has promised us, but to God Himself and our desperate need for Him.
Walking the path of life, we will come across tree limbs and downed power-lines as sporadically as we come across sunshine and rainbows. God never promised us a preview or a review. He never promised to clear the road. He only promised He would be there, alongside us, and that would be–reason enough.
Be still and know that I am God.