U.S. soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, is one of the most recognized and decorated athletes in world.
Recently, at the twilight of her brilliant career, she made a statement that turned many heads. For some, the reaction was to laugh or mock her. I can’t say she didn’t deserve it.
But I want to encourage a different response to her outburst.
Let’s pray passionately for Megan’s salvation.
Praying for Megan’s Salvation
I’ll let the New York Post explain what happened:
US soccer star Megan Rapinoe did her best to laugh off an injury she suffered in the final match of her career…Rapinoe went down in the sixth minute as OL Reign lost to Gotham FC in the National Women’s Soccer League Championship on Saturday night. Rapinoe said she believed she tore her Achilles.
In the post-match press conference, Rapinoe said she was going to get the “Aaron Rodgers treatment” to try and recover from the injury. She said she’d reach out to him or whoever did his surgery.
“I’m not a religious person or anything and if there was a God, like, this is proof that there isn’t,” Rapinoe said. “This is f—ed up. It’s just f—ed up. Six minutes in and I eat my Achilles.”
Rapinoe tried to make a play on defense when she went down with a non-contact injury. An emotional Rapinoe was tended to by medical staff before leaving the game, ending her night and career.
“Everyone is always like, ‘Who kicked me?’ And obviously, no one was even around me, and I was pressing,” Rapinoe said when describing the injury via The Seattle Times. “That’s what it felt like. Just a huge pop and I can’t even feel where the Achilles is, but pretty sure I tore my Achilles. The worst possible outcome.”
“Thank God I have a f—ing deep well of a sense of humor. It’s devastating to go out in a final so early.”
I’m sure you picked out the controversial quote:
“I’m not a religious person or anything and if there was a God, like, this is proof that there isn’t,”
For that jab at the Almighty she was mocked, even viciously on social media. How could anyone say that a personal injury, coming at an inconvenient time, proves that God doesn’t exist?
Talk about narcissistic.
The truth is we live in a fallen world. Accidents and atrocities happen all the time. I had a friend who died in swimming accident a month after we graduated from high school. Proof that God doesn’t exist? What about the Holocaust? Or the recent slaughter of 1400 innocent Israelis by Hamas? What about tornadoes, hurricanes, or the fact that my mom died at 35?
Megan Rapinoe is 38. Does God not exist because she’s been given three more years on earth (so far) than my mother?
Problems and evil on earth are due to human sin, mistakes, our mortality, demonic activity, and simply not being wise with the use of our bodies.
Might both ruptured Achilles in Aaron Rodger’s and Megan Raponoe’s legs be due to playing professional competitive athletics into their mid-to-late thirties?
Seems quite unfair to blame God for that.
Then there’s this. I realized long ago that the God who made the heavens and earth, and who is the Savior of the world through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross–is the most humble being in the universe.
He doesn’t have to prove his existence to anybody.
He is GOD. He’s completely secure in that position, yet has revealed himself to human beings in many ways.
First, there is general revelation. Paul gives the best explanation of this in Romans 1:20-25:
Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.
What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes! (The Message)
Every time I gaze at nature, I see the hand of God. Design points to a designer–magnificent creation to a Magnificent Being who made all that we see.
The knowledge God starts by “looking” all around us.
Then there is special revelation–the Bible–the most magnificent and supernatural book of all. If nature declares God’s creativity and beauty, then the stories of the first and second covenants reveal the full character of God which can be summed up in the truth that:
“God is love” (1 John 4:8).
The cross of Christ is the greatest proof of that love. He did it for you and me. He suffered and rose from the dead (proof of his divinity) for Megan Rapinoe also.
What’s interesting about her reaction to the injury was to first say this is proof there isn’t a God, and then seconds later to state, “Thank God I have a f—ing deep well of a sense of humor.”
So, first she states God doesn’t exist, and then she thanks him she can be humorous about it.
Okay, the last reference was just habit slang (“Thank God”). She said she wasn’t “a religious person or anything.” So what is she? Probably wounded in her past, confused about God, now a very successful but self-oriented person. She was angry in the moment and lashed out at Somebody she wanted to be her Sugar Daddy or Santa Klaus.
God is better than that. If Megan Rapinoe humbles herself and admits that he has always been there for her, that he died for her sins, that he is right now helping to heal her injury, and that she can experience eternal life through Jesus, then she can be filled with faith, hope, and love.
And even clean up her potty mouth.
I was encouraged recently to learn that Ayann Hirsi Ali is now a follower of Jesus. For many years she was lost Muslim who left the religion due to its terror and violence and embraced atheism. But “No God” as Bill O’Reilly opines means there’s “Nothing There.”
But God is there. He is not the author of our problems–he is the solution. If we give our hearts and lives to him, he can make us new, holy, and able to help and serve others.
Don’t mock Megan Rapinoe. You have your own follies.
Pray for her salvation. Her changed life would help point many people to Jesus. May she come to understand that:
“My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees” (Psalm 119:71).
God’s does his best work during times of trial, suffering, and difficulty.