“Is it sad that I’m annoyed because the sun is out even though I should be happy?”
I replied, “Why are you annoyed with the sun?”
“Because it’s shining right in my face.”
We sometimes blame the source when our discomfort and annoyance is more about the impact from the source. My friend was actually glad the sun was shining that day. At least, she was thankful for the warmth. But she didn’t like the inconvenience of adjusting her blinds through the day. We had several days of cloud cover, which was a bit depressing but didn’t require the effort of dealing with the sunshine, which we wanted to break through the clouds.
I think we approach God similarly at times. When we are uncomfortable or uncertain about a situation, we can quickly point to him instead of considering other factors. He has authority, so he’s an easy target. Why would he let something happen? Why doesn’t he do something about it?
But sometimes we blame him even though we’re not willing to give him credit for other things. We take credit for some of the positive stuff. We only recognize his power and authority when we need someone to point to or explain something. We need a quick, easy answer.
Sure, God is involved, but so are other factors—our choices and their consequences, others’ choices and consequences, laws of nature, and much more. God has authority to affect all those things, but we and others have the freedom to choice so many things that lead to so many other things. Then we get to choice how we respond, including our thoughts and attitudes—and blame or gratefulness. God works through it all, weaving together what will heal, challenge, and grow us. He stitches purpose into what seems unusable and unreasonable. But we give him that material with our choices.
When our focus is on him instead of our circumstances, we don’t like every situation but we have a context that keeps our gratitude in check.