Now to you who don't know me, let me say briefly that I am a Christian. That I take an active part in our Church work, and am now at this time one of the Elders of the Church. I love to read the Bible and have committed to memory several (and for me), several favorite passages of scripture. But through most of my Christian life I have carried a guilt feeling about some of the thoughts that occasionally run through my mind I have made this confession to some of my closest Christian friends and have found that they too express the same idea. And I guess the most simple was to put it would be that it goes something like this: "If I were God, I would not have done it His way!" We all know that we neither have the right or audacity to sit in judgement of Almighty God. To question God is simply to revoke your belief in His infinite mercy and justice. It is probably the one sin that will overflow the Book of Life that holds all of us accountable to our Lord and Father. Not only for the things that we have done, but also for all those things we questioned God for the way He ran this world and took care of His people. Now the theme of these thoughts can take on all kinds of different aspects, but the underlying response is always the same. Simply put "If I were God I would never have done it that way."
Now it was in this elevated sense of freedom and bliss that I began my conversation with God. I want to say right here that I do not know for certain if I was talking to God, but I most definitely assumed that it was the Father and not Jesus, not the Holy Spirit, nor one of His angels. And like Job I began to contend with the Almighty and plead my case. I wish I had a way to push a button and record this conversation. It is possible that none of it would come out any where near like I believe it to be, but never the less at the time the conversation was so clear and precise and I knew that I was in direct communication with the heavenly place. I was permitted to lay my case before Him and this I did recounting as many things as I could remember that I would never have allowed to happen if I had His power. And then I asked for permission to lay my own grievance before Him and ask His indulgence to use a football game as my example. The beef I had was that at different times in the game of life, I was being penalized for something that I really didn't believe that I was guilty of. That I really hadn't broken any rule. Yet I was getting the yellow flag and penalized and sometimes getting a loss of down. It wasn't fair, and I simply didn't believe that I had really done anything wrong. And yet I had no recourse whatever. What could I do? I wasn't out of bounds. The replay tapes showed over and over that it was a questionable call. But what could I do? Challenge God and carry a resentment in my heart. What kind of adoration and love would that be? I just had to take it, for who could have the audacity to challenge Almighty God and accuse Him of making an error.
Now this is to the best of my recollection, the response from God. And He spoke my name, "LEWIS, I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE THAT ALL OF THIS IS COMING FROM YOU. DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT IT IS MY SON, NOT I, WHO GIVES YOU THESE PENALTIES. IT IS MY SON WHO MAKES THESE JUDGEMENTS. BUT I WILL HEAR YOU OUT AND LET YOU LAY YOUR ARGUMENTS ON THE LINE." And so I did. I asked Him if I could use that football game to identify the way things seem to happen in life. I had already explained to Him why I didn't think it was fair and I knew this was wrong and I wanted some way out of this dilemma. And so my Heavenly Father gave me the answer.
He explained how He sent down to us an Umpire, (a Referee, an Intercessor). That He would be the one to call the plays. To do this so that players would have Faith and confidence in such a Referee, that He had to go about it in an unique way. To do this He had to send someone that would not only win our confidence but give to us one in whom we could place our complete and absolute trust. God became the Father of this person, and a virgin, pure, and innocent woman became the Mother. And thus was born the GREAT UMPIRE. The direct link between man and God. And the kind of game of life that we must play. To do this He explained He sent to us a Referee in which we could have absolute faith and confidence to make all the right calls. And to do this so that we would and could believe Him, He had to go about it in a most unique way. So God became the Father, and virgin, pure, and innocent woman would become the Mother of the greatest Umpire of all time. But even more than this, another prerequisite had to be filled. In order for us to really trust this Umpire, He had to prove to all mankind that He was worthy to receive our trust. And so throughout His life He walked and lived just as we do today and yet He had all the human frailties, and emotions, and feelings that we possess. And yet not once did He ever break one single rule by which we were required to play this game. And this He did even to the point of being penalized even unto death for something that He was never guilty of. And how did He take this penalty? By showing such compassion and love that He even forgave those who put Him to death. "AND NOW I ASK YOU, LEWIS, CAN YOU TRUST THIS IN YOUR UMPIRE AND BELIEVE IN HIM?"
I answered in reverence and awe that I had never before seen life in such a way. But believe me I assured my Father, that this is not only who I needed, but all Christians everywhere could take delight in knowing that this dilemma we often have with God is over at last and finally settled. I know now that whatever happens, if Jesus drops the yellow flag, I take my penalty without a whimper and whatever distance He sets me back, I accept as perfectly right and just. For me this quibbling and equivocation with God is now and forever over. For I have an Umpire who calls the play correctly not only because of who He is, but most of all who He was as He ministered to us while He lived and walked upon the Earth. He played this game of life without a single blemish and anyone who can do that has got to be the greatest player of all times and one whom we know now is truly worthy to be the Umpire of life.
And one more thing you must remember, the team we are playing against contains the most cruel and vicious and powerful adversaries that we will ever face. And often times their dirty and corrupt tactics often offset the lighter or lesser rule that you may have broken. And the Umpire has shown us the power to forgive our error and give us a new down and a fresh start. The power to forgive and give you a fresh start has never been known in a football game, but remember we only use this example as a parallel and now that we even have this added advantage in our football game of life makes this great Umpire even more worthy to believe and trusted above any one else in this whole world.