GENDUSA COLUMN: ‘It is finished’

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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As the Lord took his last breath on the cross, he didn’t say his life was over or even whisper a simple goodbye. Instead, he said, “It is finished.” 

After completing a test or cleaning our garage, we often breathe a sigh of relief and say, “It is finished!” Our task is over, and our difficult assignment is done. Then, we wait for a grade or bask with pride over the newly organized garage. 

Christ’s mission of living as a man was over. He was appointed to clean up humans’ mess and teach us that life is indeed a quiz. 

How are we doing with our assignment? 

I often pause to remember that I am taking a major exam, and if I fail, the Professor will not allow me to retake it.  So, I had better study.  If I know what is best for me, I must rethink my thinking and increase my compassion, understanding, and love for others. 

These years we spend on earth are purely and simply a test. A few years of ups and downs, heartaches and joys, and physical and mental challenges are placed as bumps on our journeys to see how we navigate them. 

My theory is that God created people of different ethnicities for a reason. Could we learn to use our hearts and not sight to see others as He does?  He judges our souls, not our looks. If we are prejudiced toward one another or lump folks together in groups, we fail the test.

God also says there will always be the poor among us, and there will be those who prosper. But the rich must give to the poor.  Are we earning a passing grade? 

There are countless exams daily, but do we see them as multiple choices instead of true or false? 

When I tried to devise an excuse for my bad behavior as a child, Mom would say, “Lynn, you know what is right and wrong! So, no excuses, young lady!” The Lord must say the same thing to every human on earth daily. 

When we judge others, follow evil, behave abhorrently, and generally be sinful, do we understand that the Professor is grading our test? 

Life is a problematic, tedious exam. We only have one book to study and learn to live by. Words are not only written but woven into every line throughout the Bible. Hate is bad; love is good. 

Faith, decency, honor, bravery, forgiveness, kindness, and empathy are the essence of a well-lived life.  

Malice, ill-gained power, money, and self-righteousness will cause failure to all. And if those become paramount during our years here, we will absolutely flunk out. 

The amount of hostility in our world right now is nothing short of an abysmal embarrassment. 

 Bullying is out of hand, used not only by children but also by adults.  Our public demeanor needs to improve big time. Our supposed leaders are not leading when they intimidate; they just try to promote themselves, and we fall for it. And when we do, we lose. 

My grandmother (aka Grandpa) always said, “Well, honey, what looks good isn’t always right. Kind of like that apple pie Mrs. Wilson brought over.” 

Grandpa continued, “When I was sick, and your mother came to stay with me, Mrs. Wilson brought us a homemade apple pie. Your Mama always loves pie, so she was about to slice a big piece of that pretty dessert, but I quickly grabbed it and threw it in the trash!” 

“Why?!” I almost yelled.

“Because as much as I love Mrs. Wilson, bless her heart, I know she never cleans her kitchen, and I knew that lovely pie was loaded with germs and harmful things we can’t see!” 

A test. A pie and a slice of life. Lesson learned. 

We can quote words from the Bible, listen to countless sermons, and perform good deeds.  All that is great, but if we don’t become examples of love defeating hatred or kindness gaining victory over venom, we will not pass. 

In all things, God is watching how we handle our assignments. Do we spread joy, love, and His words, or ignore everything and fail our purpose in life? 

How we live and what we give determines how we finish “it “ because “it” is nothing but a test.