You start to notice how people talk about God. We think god is absent when things are bad. Even Jesus did on the cross. But we instantly thank him when things are good. We thank God for all the blessings and all goodness that comes our way (well Christians do). Then we cry out to God when things go bad, or we think he’s abandoned us, or we don’t feel him around. It just seems all to presumptuous that he is there at all.
What is stopping is from just seeing all good and bad things as either God being fully aware and present or God never being aware and never present?
I can’t one day thank God for something and then the next day question his presence. My acknowledgement of God’s presence or action can’t be based on my daily individual experiences. But it always seems to. It really has to be an all or nothing situation. I don’t buy the constant fluctuation of presence in our lives of God. I get that it’s part of our humanity, that even Jesus couldn’t shake off, to question being abandoned by God when things are shit. I just finished reading Night by Elie Wiesel and he had every right to question God, his presence and his goodness while being tortured in concentration camps.
I just don’t think it’s a fair assessment to only give God what happens that is good. It wouldn’t make sense for Elie to have been rescued from his situation and then start right into praising and thanking God for getting him out of there. How can you thank God for your salvation in the same breath you are mourning someone else’s suffering and death?
It is for this reason that I have a hard time thanking God for anything. That sounds like an awfully heretical statement. I almost feel like going back and rephrasing. But I just don’t get it. How can one honestly thank God for anything and give credit for anything while there is still so much that he is on the hook for? Is it just a simple both/and and trying to live in the tension of it all? I don’t know if it is just tension. I think the situation demands that we either give God credit for all the good and he takes the blame for all the bad or we give no credit to him for either.