I’m sure someone has told you this before, and you have probably even used it yourself. Something awful has happened. Your heart is smashed into a million pieces… You just failed a major test for which you studied for weeks… Your #1 college just rejected you. So you turn to the person you always go to for advice. With a sympathetic sigh they tell you,
“Everything happens for a reason, you know.”
So wise. So true. Yet so vague it’s almost meaningless.
It’s one of those bits of advice that only really means something a few years after you really needed it. Only, by that point, a new terrible thing has happened in your life— but don’t worry! Everything happens for a reason. That makes it better, right?
Maybe a little. But wouldn’t it help a lot more if you knew right now what that reason was?
So I’m officially proposing an amendment to the classic, go-to “everything happens for a reason” line. From now on, don’t just tell yourself that this happened to you for some unknown reason. Tell yourself that, yes, this happened for a reason, and that reason is to bring you closer to God.
Everything we do in life should be for the benefit of our relationship with God. Even if it’s simply doing the dishes or waking up when our alarm clock goes off, we are called to be faithful in small matters so that God can lead us to the extraordinary that we so greatly desire. God wants us to grow closer to Him with each new moment of each new day. Isn’t it fitting, then, that everything that happens to us in our life—no matter how difficult or how little sense it makes to us at the time—ultimately happens so that we are able to accomplish His will for us?
The question is no longer: “Why did this happen?” It now becomes: “How is this supposed to lead me to God?”