The Phil Files

Musings & messages on everyday worship, Jesus, and the stuff of life.


with 8 comments

Much of the world is caught up with Olympic fever right now. From the breathtaking beauty of the opening ceremonies to the tragic murder of Todd Bachman, many of us have been engrossed with the happenings in China. (Concern for our brothers and sisters in faith will be shared in a later post.) Two events at the pool caught my eye: MIchael Phelps gold medal and Park Tae-hwan‘s victory in the men’s 400 freestyle.

While most of the world knows about Michael Phelps, Park’s win is especially touching when you realize that at the last Olympics, he had a false-start and was disqualified before he got to swim in his event. What a great recovery from such embarrassment and frustration four years earlier. He didn’t quit on his dream, but instead used his disappointments to lead him to world championships and an Olympic gold.

Park’s story reminds me of three great Olympic stories about finishing. These three stories have captured the hearts of many folks over the year because they each focus on on an athlete that finished his event, even though there was no chance of winning. One was bruised and battered from a bad fall, another completely exhausted and had to be helped across the line, and the third was a young man whose dad came out of the stands and helped his son finish after a severe hamstring injury. For more on each of these stories, check out the link to a Heartlight article and a Wikipedia entry:

John Stephen Akhwari — HeartlightWikipedia

Dorando Pietri — HeartlightWikipedia

Derek Redmond — HeartlightWikipedia

While each of these stories — along with Park Tae-hwan’s story — is compelling, there is another story of finishing that makes these others seem almost trite. It’s the story of God’s Son enduring the Cross. Jesus’ words, “It is finished!” are not only a declaration of having done what the Father sent him to do (John 4:34 NLT), they are also a kind of victory cry (John 12:31-32 NLT).

I talk about some of this in my Heartlight article this week, but I’d also like to hear from you about how you will know when you’ve done what the Lord has put you on earth to do.

Do you believe you were put on earth by God with a specific purpose and specific things you were supposed to do?

How do you know what those are?

Do you think You can know when you have “finished” what God put you on earth to do?

What do you think Jesus means when he crys, “It is finished”?

I’d really love to hear from you on this in the response section below!

Written by phil

August 9th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

8 Responses to 'Finishing!'

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  1. Do not think we can ever know on our own if God is finished with us until the end of our life.

    I often question as to why I am here and what does God want me to be doing maybe I have not hear his message to me yet..Or just not realizing
    I am doing what he wants me to do.

    Jesus said it is finished as he proved he was the son of God by shedding his blood, beatings suffering so we can be saved when we ask he gaave it all for us.

    Betty R Aikens

    10 Aug 08 at 3:11 pm

  2. I write about my sister’s story and how I believe she knew she finished the race God set before her. Her name was Victoria and she drowned 14 years ago at age 33. She encountered a freak rain storm on a summer’s night in July. She drove her car with her 7 year old son into an unmarked construction site thinking it might be a short cut home. It was being dredged and it flooded from the run offs of the surrounding streets during the storm. It was pitch black and she was not able to see but knew she was now being pulled by the strong currents of water coming from all directions. She pulled her son from the back seat and out of the car as lighting was the only source of light now for her to see by. She screamed for help as she now was in water that was pulling her and her son under over and over. She heard a man’s voice who told her to keep swimming to him. She shouted I can’t see you so he raised a stick and as the lighting would light the sky she would swim closer to the edge with her son under her arm. By the grace of God she was able to reach the edge long enough to hand her son off to the man with the stick. Her son was saved but she was gone. The recuse divers searched for her but the currents ripped their boots off and the ropes did not keep them from being pulled under in the deadly currents. The rescue divers had to give up the search until the storm was over. She was found not far from where she handed her son over and saved his life. She gave her life for his, the mothers ultimate sacrafice for her child. Her reason for being put on earth was finished. I believe that sometimes God makes it very clear why and when our time is finished. My older sister told us the next day of my sister Vicky’s visit to her house the night before her death. Vicky told my sister she had a dream that she drowned but her son was saved and the following night she died. Did God prepare her? I do believe God made it very clear to Vicky her time had come and he gave her the strength to finish the race well. I can’t wait to see her again in heaven, she is missed every day. Her son is now a wonderful young man and tells the story of his loving mother.

    Denise Stites

    11 Aug 08 at 6:49 am

  3. I was reminded of two stories when I read this morning\’s Heartlight. The first was that of Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr.\’s eulogy in which the minister said he wasn\’t going to talk about her birth and death but aboutthe dash in between. I can\’t say with certainty if I\’ll finish everything I\’m supposed to do in this life, but I am certain that if I concentrate on the dash – what the Apostle Paul calls the good race – that I can be certain that I did what God calls me to do.

    The other is a story that Alexander Papaderos tells of growing up in WWII Greece wherein he found a mirror from a wrecked Nazi motorcycle. He honed it into a round piece in which he reflected light into dark holes to see what was inside. The mirror became a metaphor for his life – to reflect light in dark places knowing that he was not the light nor the source of the light.

    I know that my purpose is to reflect God\’s glory in a dark world and to share that light with others. I don\’t always know how to do that, nor am I always successful. However, my experiences (bnoth good and bad) shape how I reflect God\’s glory. It\’s by his grace, and only his grace, that I can do that. The guide I am to follow is Jesus. I\’m sure that when I hear \"well done my good and faithful servant I, like Jesus will know that \"it is finished\".

    Greg Joel

    11 Aug 08 at 7:59 am

  4. I believe that God has a purpose for each and everyone of us in this earth. If people are interested is listening what the Lord has to say, is another story.
    God give us gifts that must be used during our life – the purpose is to use those gifts to the benefit of all. Love is the “essence “of all gifts. When we fail to do so, we are failling the purpose of our life. I know that my purpose is not finished yet. Why ? Very simple: Because I had cancer three years ago – a deadly one, and I just knew all the time that I was going to survive hence my work was not finished, yet.
    When my doctor told me “you kick dead”, I replied: “I am not going now because I still have work to do. When I will finish, I will go”.
    That’s the sense of accomplishment.
    When Jesus cried on the cross ” It is finished”, he knew that His work was done, His task totally accomplished. The purpose for His coming into earth was finished, really. He did all righ, according to God’s plan. Then, he could return to the Father. And praise the Almighty for Jesus sacrifice.


    12 Aug 08 at 4:56 am

  5. i do believe that each person is here for a purpose to fulfill in life. i admit that i have struggled with this question at times, especially since i was struck with chronic illness 10 years ago which left me unable to continue working. i felt God had called me to be a nurse to care for the sick. but now that i am sick, i sometimes wonder what my purpose is now. there is so much i can no longer do. there is so much that i WANT to do and get frustrated because i can’t due to my physical limitations. i wish i could hear more clearly from God what He wants me to do with the remainder of my life. I feel that He has given me a heart for the lost and those who are suffering. since i am no longer able to get out much, i spend quite a bit of time in prayer, especially for those who are lost spiritually and for those who are struggling with illness, loss, depression. I love animals and would like to some day be involved in animal rescue. I am thankful every day for all my Lord and Saviour has done for me and that He will never leave or forsake me. I look forward to the day when i will finally see Him in all His glory and to spend eternity worshiping Him!!


    13 Aug 08 at 12:02 am

  6. Yes, the Lord has put us here for a specific purpose, for He knew us evern before we were in our Mothers womb. He equiped us with what we would need for our journey here as we run the race towards Him again, it is written in our genes, and the desires of the heart where He places His Word by His Spirit which confirms our Salvation. If we believe that we are here for specific purpose and we are equiped for that purpose, He will place us where He wants us and provide the opportunity for service by our obediance to Him. Then we receive a Peace that passes all understanding thus our faith in His Mercy and Grace shown us. We continue to strive for the “finish” and be of good courage and strength He provides us and don’t quit ’til He calls us home, no matter what vehicle He uses to transport us home, illness, long or sudden, accident, natural…whatever it is we may not know until the last breath comes and the revelation of His Glory fills our souls and raises us Heaven ward, and only Jesus fills our sights, we no longer even see the Earth and those who fill it but view our loved ones waiting near but most gloriously, Jesus word, well done good and faithful servant. We are Home.!

    Brenda Naegle

    20 Aug 08 at 3:15 pm

  7. My reward for following the great comission won’t be much,however it will be just.Thank God for Jesus because he paid it all!


    13 Jan 11 at 6:10 pm

  8. My reward for following the great comission won\’t be much,however it will be just.Thank God for Jesus because he paid it all!


    13 Jan 11 at 6:11 pm

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