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On The Road To Forever

An act of God

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Thomas Bonham is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

April 9, 2014 | 2,768 views | Post a comment

I’ve been moving a fence at the house in order to gain a little more secure feeling that my perpetual four-year-old will have greater difficulty escaping her own yard. I’m trying to get this job finished before it comes a big rain; fat chance. Then again, I’m filling the holes with water to soften the soil for removal; crazy, huh? Have you ever had a Chihuahua insistent on helping dig a posthole? It’s a real hoot. And, with the fence down, if she isn’t right under foot, she’s wandered off to where she shouldn’t be. We’ve had to share the shower several nights this past week. I guess she’s only trying to get involved and do her best to make her master happy. She thinks she’s giving 100 percent of what she has to give, which in reality is just a good laugh, and I love her for it.

In conversation the other day about how badly we needed rain, a fellow suggested we hire a rainmaker like they used to do in the old days. Okay, it’s time to grow our vocabulary. A pluviometer is an instrument used to measure rainfall (a rain gauge). A pluviculture is a dude who attempts to induce rain artificially (a rainmaker). Charles Hatfield was known as a rainmaker. He was hired in 1915 by the city of San Diego to fill the Moreno Reservoir to capacity with rainwater, for $10,000. The region was soon flooded by heavy rains, killing some 20 people, destroying 110 bridges, knocking out telephone and telegraph lines. and nearly bursting the reservoir dam, causing some $3.5 million in total damages (a lot of money in 1915). When the city refused to pay him (he had forgotten to sign the contract), he sued the city. The floods were ruled an “act of God” excluding him from liabilities, but also from payment. I think we need to leave it up to God as to when and how much rain we get. He doesn’t need any help. Now, that doesn’t exclude prayer. God knows we need the rain, but He still likes to hear from us.

[Romans 5:6-8 & 2 Corinthians 5:19] “... at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We can never give more than God. We can never please God by trying to do His job, or by trying to improve on His perfect work. Okay, here’s a little mathematical formula to prove it. Assign numbers, 1-26, to the letters of the alphabet, A-Z. Now, let’s look to see what kind of answer we can come up with. K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E (11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5) = 96 percent. H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K (8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11) = 98 percent. A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E (1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5) = 100 percent. L-O-V-E-O-F-G-O-D (12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4) = 101 percent. I think we can conclude that while knowledge and hard work can sometimes make us feel like a god, and the proper attitude can bring us to God, it is the love of God that will save us from ourselves in the end. It is sad when we think that “an act of God” usually denotes some kind of calamity, such as a hurricane or tornado, a flood, or an earthquake. Lifting that phrase to a higher level, one can see the Gospel compressed into one sentence: “... God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” That, my friends, is an act of God! Reconciliation was not something man was seeking, or capable of bringing about. Our sins separate us from God, but God steps in to heal the breech and restore us to a right relationship with him. How? In Christ! “... for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ” (Galatians 3:22-28); “... And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 3:38), another act of God.

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at Find his column on his blog at
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