Everything happens for a reason?

I have encountered several people tell me that everything happens for a reason. And to be honest, I have struggled with this idea. What was the reason for the holocaust? Reason of cancer? Reason of car crashes killing innocent people? Reason for war?

What is troubling for me is the word 'reason' in this sense seems to mean that behind everything that happens there is a purpose, as though there is a force guiding all actions from the major to minor. There is a cause behind all things.

I do not have a problem with people who affirm this. I just cannot be satisfied with the answers I am hearing in response to the questions above. Words like, "So God can be glorified." or "To test faith." or "It is God's will." or words of the like.

In response to the idea that, "everything happens for a reason" I would like to submit we might shift our thought from cause (reason) to the ontological (meaning).

Instead of "everything happens for a reason" what about: "what are the meanings of everything that happens"?

Notice that I submit "meanings" and not "meaning". That is to say, that in all that happens I do not think there is only one meaning which can be derived from the event. Rather, I would submit there are multiple layers of meaning in all the events around us.

And so, for those of you who also struggle with the idea that "everything happens for a reason" could we endorse, "what are the meanings of everything"?