It's an "Act of God" ... But Is It?

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"It's an act of God" by Lisa Simmons (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2019 Lisa Simmons. All rights reserved.

I don’t know when insurance companies began their practice of naming certain nature driven bad events as being Acts of God, but I for one would like to disagree with naming these natural disasters as something God “does.”

First of all, we need to quit thinking when something bad in nature occurs, like a tornado, or hurricane, or flooding, that it’s God’s fault. We never blame the real culprit which is Mother Nature. God, of course, created Mother Nature, but it’s not His fault she is behaving in chaos; that would go back to the story of Adam and Eve and Original Sin. Everything began to go haywire when they took that bet from Satan himself to try to be just like God and made the choice to follow Satan instead of God — and literally all hell broke loose in mankind and in nature.

Acts of God, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “a direct, sudden, and irresistible action of natural forces such as could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented, as a flood, hurricane, earthquake, or other natural catastrophe.”

But if we truly believe that God loves us, how can we believe He would purposely strike us by lightning, or send tornadoes to kill us? That doesn’t make sense.

In the 13th century, God was still seen as the angry God that we must please or suffer His wrath. This seems to be the time when the term “act of God” came into use. It was used to explain why shipments of grain didn’t make it across the sea: A typhoon blew up, and it was God’s fault as opposed to human error as to why your grain didn’t get to the market.

Modern Christianity teaches about a loving God, but somehow people still see God as angry or getting back at us because we sin; hence the saying it’s God’s will my child (husband, friend, etc.) died.

But the only thing God wills for us is to accept His love. He is constantly at our side, desiring us to just say “yes” to Him. When we do say “yes” we are able to do wonderful things. God’s work in disasters is not the bad things that happen; it is the good that happens during the disaster, such as when people run into danger to save another person. They are acting on the prompting God has instilled in their hearts to do good and wonderful things. They choose to do good.

"It's an act of God" by Lisa Simmons (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2019 Lisa Simmons. All rights reserved.

It is not God’s will that a baby dies in the womb or a young person dies of cancer or is killed by a drunk driver. These terrible things happen because when Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan instead of God, that Original Sin disordered everything in the world including nature.

God doesn’t will these sad things into our lives; they just happen, whether by nature or people not choosing to be good. What God does is touch us with His love and His presence to know that through it all, good and bad, He is there supporting us.

Likewise, God is not some magic wand we use to cure people. When we say we are praying for someone to be healed, what we should be praying for is for all of us to open our hearts so we can feel God’s presence in helping us get through our illness or sadness. We should be praying for others to open their hearts to God too, so they choose to do good instead of evil.

This is not refuting the presence of miracles either, but likewise when we say we are praying for a miracle, why do they only happen sometimes and not always when we pray? Thinking this way might make me think I am not praying hard enough or the “right way” if I don’t get the miracle I asked God for. Maybe that is why so many people give up on God. They prayed for a miracle and didn’t get what they wanted. Wouldn’t it be better to try to see God as all loving? And for us to accept that since we live in a natural world, and with people who may choose acts of evil instead of good, that bad things may happen to us?

"It's an act of God" by Lisa Simmons (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2019 Lisa Simmons. All rights reserved.

God is always beside us promising a better life in the next eternal world with Him. But we have to choose to want to be with Him and not give up our hope and openness to His love and that is a very important lesson to remember. Unless we open our hearts to God (because He doesn’t come kicking down the door to get in), He can’t help us because He gave us a Free Will.

So an Act of God would be us listening to His voice in our hearts and acting out good. That Act of God is what sends people into rescue others. An Act of God tells us something is wrong, and we seek to find out the truth. An Act of God is the peace we have after making a good confession and knowing our sins are wiped away.  And of course the most fantastic of all Acts of God was Jesus’ resurrection after dying on the cross, which opened the Gates of Heaven again for all of us to be saved. That is an Act of God I can truly ‘blame’ on God and thank Him for!


Copyright 2019 Lisa Simmons

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About Author

Lisa Hendrix Simmons is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, and lover of adventures! She works full time at her Catholic parish as the social media/technology/Family Life Ministry coordinator. She writes about staying young and fun while living Catholic. When not writing she is knitting, playing music with her husband and having fun with her kids and grandkids. Visit her blog at https://youngfunandcatholic.blogspot.com/ and at www.simmonsfamilycenter.com/mommaknitsayarn

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