A few years ago, a magazine published by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes carried a story called, “The Ultimate Protest.”  It was a parable of people’s protest against God.  In the story, a throng of humanity was gathered on a vast field.  There they were divided into little, grumbling, complaining groups.  The air was heavy with hostility.  Some of them were saying, “It must be wonderful to live like a God, to be in heaven where there isn’t any darkness or sin or suffering.  Since He lives there, and we live here, how could He possibly know what it is like? 

                Among them were Jews who had been hated and persecuted from the Nile to the Rhineland.  Some had suffered through the hell of Nazi concentration camps.  There were also people who knew what it was like to live on the edges of society, to enter buildings by back doors, to try to explain to their children that they could not eat in that restaurant, or study in that school, or worship in that church.  Still others spoke of their poverty.  Even in childhood their homes had been poor, oftentimes there had not been enough food to go around.  They had been reared in unsavory communities.

                So, in the story they were wondering about God, and they appointed a grievance committee to go see Him. But then a strange thing happened.  Before they could go to God, He came to them.  And He wasn’t at all what they expected.  Instead of a God mystical and removed, He looked more like a working man.  He could have easily passed for a carpenter.  His face was bronzed; His hands were calloused.  They listened to Him talk and learned that He was born in a stable and lived in poverty.  He knew the meaning of rejection and persecution.  His back had felt the bite of the whip, and jagged scars in His hands and feet told the unmistakable story of His death. 

                The demonstration ended, and the people departed in silence, with heads bowed and hearts strangely moved.  This is what the Book of Hebrews means when it says, “He (Jesus) understands since He had the same temptations we do.”

                Whatever our struggle with life may be, few things are as essential as understanding.  Jesus is saying to you and to me, “I have been there, right where you are now; and I have conquered.  Now I am here to share my victory with you.  Don’t quit.  Don’t fold up in self-pity.  You can come through this thing with head high and banners flying.”  His grace is sufficient to help us in our times of need.  That is what the God who understands is saying to you and to me each day.  How wonderful our God truly is!