I really and truly hate the expression, “it was God’s will.” Really? How do you know? To be fair, the overwhelming majority of people living in the United States were brought up on one of three basic belief systems: Jewish, Christian, and Islam. Each of those general religions loves to use the expression in question. But my question to any of them is, “how do you know?” If you nail any of them down they will probably refer to some ancient religious text which supposedly gives weight to their contention.
But don’t each of these religions refer to God as a “father” meaning, of course, a family member. And each contends that God is also the epitome of love, kindness and understanding. Great! Then how can you call it God’s will when an earthquake strikes a region and kills thousands of people? Are you telling me that either God wanted those people dead? As a father I believe it a part of my job to protect my children from any sort of harm. This actually makes God sound like some sort of sadistic being rather than the all loving purported.
Another of my favorites is when a person comes down with a deadly form of cancer and that somehow is God’s will. Again, really? God favors kind and loving people with deadly diseases as some sort of test of their love for Him? It makes it sound like He lacks love for the person involved. Which, as a side note, brings up another of my annoyances: unfairness. People love to say how unfair it is when someone is visited by some life altering, or worse, life ending disease while they are young. No! It is entirely fair! Diseases and disasters do not go around picking out individuals if affect. Fairness exists entirely in human interaction, that is, how one human treats another human. Diseases and disasters simply do not have the capacity to care.
If the basic claims about God of these three religions are to be believed then God could only want for our happiness, good health, and long lives. God does not punish nor reward any living being but saves such things for the afterlife. God does not take the side of one nation over another in a time of war, or for that matter, in any sort of human contest, conquest or endeavor. If God so favored any group of people does it not make sense that He would have protected people against the likes of Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Adolph Hitler or any of a long list of evil persons? But He did not which means His is an entirely hands off position. What happens to us here on earth is always the result of our own actions, or lack of action, or of natural phenomena. And that is my universe. If tomorrow I am told I have some sort of stage 4 incurable cancer I will not look upon it as God’s will or even bad luck. It will simple be the end result of a long string of natural events, and sometimes, many times, we humans are incapable of putting together all of those events or even explaining them. I accept my situation as it is. I promise myself to be as kind, courteous and thoughtful as possible. In the end, after all, is that not what each of us is evaluated on, by those who know us and God?