TGIF (Thank God It’s Finished)

TGIF for “Thank God It’s Friday” is such a well-known phrase today, it may be a surprise to learn it only came into common use about forty years ago–at least a generation after the two-day weekend was firmly established as standard. For centuries before, Friday was considered an unlucky day–a superstition that survives in nervous jokes about Friday the 13th.

On any day of the week, many of us could easily amend that and say “Thank God It’s Finished“–whether “It” stands for a full work week, a single work day, the next deadline on our schedule, or anything else that signifies toil, frustration, stress, struggle, and (I dare say) our own sense of inadequacy and incompleteness. Things that, strictly speaking, are never really “finished”; we barely have time to savor the relief of getting through one assignment or trial, before the next one pounces. Small wonder that so many of us turn our To-Do and goals lists into that definition of insanity that keeps doing the same thing expecting different results: “I know I’m going to have a stressful time finishing this list, but once I get through today/land that promotion/save a certain amount of money/reach retirement, life will be easy to manage from then on.” By the time we finally reach the much-anticipated rest stop–if we don’t work ourselves to death first–we’re so conditioned to constant rush that we either crash like speed freaks coming off a high, or start working hard at “leisure” activities to keep the high going.

No denying that the initial TGIF rush feels great. Nonetheless, it’s short-lived and based on faulty thinking. The sort of thinking that says work is pure burden and that self-satisfaction (whether through indulgence or pride of achievement) is god.

When Jesus uttered the famous cry from the Cross, “It is finished,” He meant something entirely different–not “Thank God, finally a break,” and definitely not with the negative connotation “I’ve lost my last hope of succeeding.” The original language in John 19:30 clearly indicates triumph, as in, “Everything is fulfilled, accomplished, paid in full.” Of course, this wasn’t the actual end of Jesus’s work–the Resurrection and much else still lay ahead–but it was the focal point of all He came for, the moment sin’s debt was paid and the barrier between humanity and Heaven torn away, the place where the emphasis of godly living leaped the wall from “you strive to please God” to “let God do the real striving, and be comforted that He is already pleased to call you His.” If we truly understand this, we don’t have to live from anxious drudgery to anxious drudgery with brief moments of relief, driven throughout by desperate craving to someday climb above all this. We can find joy even in our struggles as we allow God to personally lift us up through them.

Thank God that, through Jesus, the hardest work is finished.

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1 Comment

  1. Jerrie

     /  September 6, 2013

    Thank you once again for helping us to focus on the real truth that IT is all about Jesus.

    Reply

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