An Act of God is a Hard Act to Follow 
Monday, September 19, 2005, 03:17 PM
It is a rainy Monday in Ohio, remnants of hurricane Rita, a hurricane that drenched Texas and flooded New Orleans again is just an annoyance to me. The gentle rain that used to be a fearsome hurricane got me thinking today about “Acts of God”. Why do I have gentle rain and others have raging floods?

In the face of senseless tragedy it is very human to seek patterns and reason to calm our fears. We want to know “Why!” so that we can avoid both the survivor's guilt of being spared and the fear that we could be next to lose our homes, community, and livelihood by an “Act of God”, such as a tornado, flood or lightning. What is Act of God anyway? Here is one definition:

An act occasioned exclusively by forces of nature, uncontrolled and uninfluenced by the power of man and which is of such a character that it could not have been prevented or escaped from by any amount of foresight or prudence.

Americans rebel at that definition. There are things we can not control, prevent or at least escape? That is tough for Americans to admit. Yet as Presbyterians we are taught that we do not save ourselves.

Resist the temptation to find spiritual fault with victims of tragedy as if God was selective with sunshine and rain on the basis of morality.

“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” — Matthew 5:45

We are saved from the eternal devastation
not by our great spiritual earthworks holding back the storm surge of sin but by God's great grace in Jesus Christ which places us eternally safe on the high ground of heaven.

Happy to be dry and saved by God's grace…

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