"in Gottes Hand" refers to a single God in whose hands life lies; moreover, the reference to man having been created from clay suggests that it refers to the god of the Abrahamic religions (so I would not use "gods" but "God").
To me, the German source text serves as a reminder that God created everything and that life and death is a his mercy. Not merely resignation that once cannot change it, but also a sense of protectedness (something that I feel is expressed by the Engligsh "in the hands of God/in God's hands" e.g. http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/h005.html
"to lie in the laps of the gods" does, of course, also mean that something is out of our control (http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/...
"If something is in the lap of the gods, it is beyond our control and fate will decide the outcome."), but (at least to me) it suggests a less active role for the god(s) in question.