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Does Everything Really Happen for a Reason?

“Everything happens for a reason.” I hear that a lot these days, usually after someone hasn’t done enough to prevent or keep something from happening. It helps us feel better about ourselves and more confident in the “forces of the universe” to think that somehow, they have got this. They ordained this. Nothing I could have done. Might as well just step back and let things take their course. They will, with or without me.

Never do you hear “everything happens for a reason” from someone who has done all that is humanly possible to prevent it from happening. The loss of a child, death of a spouse, mauling, murder, abuse, trafficking. How can anyone look at any of these things and think “everything happens for a reason.”


‘God is in control’ is not meant to absolve us from our responsibility to do everything we can. In fact, that’s a cop out and an excuse for not doing. No, we’re meant to do all we can so that even if we¬†fall short of people’s expectations including our own, we are becoming people who don’t need excuses. Even though we still have questions.

Everything may happen for a reason, but I may be the reason and, if I am, then God will surely be the difference.

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