In the lap of the gods
This means beyond human control in the sense that events are left to their own fate. Some sources attribute the origin to Homer c. 700 BC, including The Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms which goes on to say that Homer’s actual Greek referred to the ‘knees’ of the gods. The first English translation of Homer, published in instalments in 1598, was by George Chapman, who used the word ‘lap’ instead of ‘knees’ because since the 1400s, the human lap, where babies are nursed and where ‘lapdogs’ sit, has long been associated with safety and care. Therefore, the concept may well have been Homer’s but the actual expression itself probably belongs to Chapman.