Oh, boy. This one shows up all over facebook in various forms, all on cute little quote cards: "Believe that everything happens for a reason." or "Everything happens for a reason."
I don't know who wrote that, or who is trying to promote it, but it's a big, fat, emotionally dangerous LIE.
Try telling that to a little girl whose dad molested her for years.
Try telling that to Elizabeth Smart, who was held captive as a sex slave to a mad man for 9 months when she was barely a teenager.
Try telling that to the mom whose daughter was kidnapped, raped, and murdered last month in Utah.
Try telling that to the mom who was 2 days shy of her baby's due date when her car was hit by a drunk driver on a suspended license--and it killed her baby.
Then look me in the eye and tell me why you think that lie is going to help ANYONE. The reason those things happened is another person made a very bad choice, and someone else suffered for it. That's the reason.
Sometimes things happen because there are truly wicked people in this world. Sometimes really good, innocent people suffer a lot for their whole lives because one selfish, wicked person did something bad to them. And sometimes someone else made a mistake that had really sad ripples. Sometimes good people do dumb things that end up hurting other people.
And it makes me sick to think that all those facebook posters are trying to tell them that happened for a reason (presumably that some higher power condones). The quote seems to imply that God is controlling all these things that happen, and He WANTED it to happen.
Sometimes, there are bad things that happen because someone else made a choice, and sometimes it's dumb luck, and sometimes there seems to be no reason, and wasting energy searching for the reason is a waste of time and emotion.
I wish people would stop saying that everything happens for a reason. It's not helpful.
Really, bad things happen. And it's a good thing Jesus came and can help us get through them without it destroying our whole lives.
It's become a serious fad to post cute little sayings on virtual cards all over facebook.
They're driving me nuts!
Some are harmless. Some are actually nice (like quotes from the prophets that are encouraging).
Some of the most popular are downright lies.
Like this one: "At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end."
Really, the end of the story is when and how you die, right? How many of us get to choose that? Barring suicide, none.
But even if we take "the story" to mean not your entire life, but just a little section of it, it's a cruel thing to tell someone that they have control over all the outcomes in their lives. Moms don't really get to decide if their babies are born healthy and without disabilities. Cancer patients don't get to decide to be healthy. Some people work all their lives and never get a baby/spouse/job/miracle/whatever they're hoping and praying for.
Sometimes you get fired.
Sometimes you end up in a wheel chair.
Sometimes your kid does.
Sometimes people get raped or tortured.
Sometimes there's a giant wildfire and it burns your house to the ground.
Sometimes the drunk driver does hit your car, and all you saying "This is not how the story is going to end!!" won't stop that. Sometimes that IS the end, and you can't stop it. And if it's not the end, then saying that is stupid.
We can't control other people, and for all our fuzzy warm thoughts, and all of our independent spirits, and all our empowerment, other people's choices do have a major impact on our lives--and we can't change that.
And sure, you can say, "The story is not going to end here"--because if the story wasn't completely over, you do have to pick up and move on.
Really, in life, the choice is not how the story ends. The choice is how we react, what we choose, and sometimes how we're going to focus from here on out (NOT necessarily what happens to us next).
Every story, ultimately, ends in death. And that's how it's supposed to be. But we don't get to choose a great deal of the things that happen to us, and it's truly not helpful to people who are struggling when we lie to them and tell them they can.
Because the reality is, either this IS how the story is going to end and you have no choice over that, or you haven't reached the end yet and you don't know what's going to happen next, so you choose your own actions and pray for the best.