2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.
Have you ever noticed how common mistakes are? Fortunately we don’t have video replay in our daily lives where family and friends can relive our blunders. It’s bad enough listening to our kids hilariously remembering them. But the sporting world provides some wrenching examples of errors by referees / umpires, and usually there is video replay that everyone has to live with – for better or worse. While no one expects perfection, you just hope mistakes are inconsequential. Unfortunately, some errors that come to mind were anything but.
Some years ago a Detroit Tiger pitcher was deprived of a perfect game by an umpire’s mistake. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the umpire mistakenly called a runner safe at first when replays clearly showed he was out – the last out! Afterward, the umpire was devastated to see the video replay of his mistake that deprived the pitcher of a rare perfect game. Yes, umpires make mistakes, but this one involved the final out of a perfect game.
Most sports use technology or video replay to some degree to ensure against significant refereeing mistakes. Soccer does not. In the World Cup, on the same day, Germany and Argentina advanced in games marred by refereeing errors. The whole world saw that England scored against Germany to tie the game up before the half at 2-2. Unfortunately the referee and his linesman missed it! Germany went on to win 4-1. That evening Argentina beat Mexico3-1, but Argentina’s first goal should have been disallowed because it was scored by a player clearly offside. Note: The 2018 World Cup was the first time video review (VAR) was used.
Such mistakes really offend our sense of fairness – particularly when video replay confirms the error! If only the mistakes could have been corrected, the results might have been different. If only the baseball Commissioner had overturned the umpire’s call… If only video replay had been used in World Cup games… If only God had….
Our response in difficult situations reveals what we really believe about God – who we think He is. Is He our rock, our refuge, our comforter, our sustainer, our enabler, our inspiration, etc…. Or is He a referee who occasionally gets it wrong – who allows things that aren’t fair? Do we get upset because something happens that is ‘against our understanding of the rules’ and we complain and question and argue: “He should have caught that!”
We need to understand that walking by ‘sight’ leads us on the path to the ‘referee / fairness’ model that results in victims and blown calls. Walking by ‘faith’ leads us to the reality of who God is and how incredibly secure we are in Him – no matter what our circumstances look like. Remember, God never has an “Oops!”