Have you ever bargained with God? People who don't even believe in the existence of God have been known to suddenly enter a bargaining frenzy when faced with a critical situation like a terminal illness or the potential loss of a loved one. I wonder how many promises to turn up to church more often or live a better life or care more for that person are kept in the long run?
After 9/11 people in the USA flocked back to church - for a while. Over time, as things moved back to normal many of them dropped off again and church attendance resumed its former patterns. Of course there was a simultaneous outcry amongst those whose faith was tested by this tragedy - how could God do this to so many good Christian people?
I'm not sure that its fair to blame God for the suffering that occurs in our lives. However, if we let God off the hook here, can we really give credit when something good happens? Harold Kushner's book "When bad things happen to good people" is one of many that try to address these questions. I can't say that it gives perfect answers but its well worth a read.