SwindollStudyBible-John - Page 37



J ohn  1 1 : 2 6
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The Human and
Divine Perspectives
JOHN 11:1-44
“LORD, YOUR DEAR FRIEND is very sick” (John 11:3). Lazarus’s condition wasn’t improving.
We would have expected, ­then—­and certainly the disciples ­did—­that Jesus would
go immediately to His friend. But He didn’t. He and the disciples stayed put for two more
days. Before long, Lazarus died, and all Mary and Martha had was a corpse on their hands.
Jesus had deliberately delayed His going to His friend, and then He told the surprised disciples, “Lazarus is dead” (John 11:14). The disciples might have wondered, Why go now?
Why bother?
We must learn early in the Christian life that the Lord is never late, though He often
delays. There’s a difference. When you are late, it means you should have been somewhere
earlier. But when you decide to delay, it means that you purposely plan to come late. When
Jesus seemed to be saying no to the sisters’ invitation, He was
not late in arriving, as they thought He was. He purposely delayed
To have the
the timing for a ­reason—­He knew it would be for the better.
divine perspective
Now, it’s helpful for us as children of God to keep in mind
that the Lord of the ­heavens—­who is also our loving heavenly
is to trust that
­Father—­does not work His will according to our timing. We often
God knows what
feel that He should. We regularly find reasons to ask God to
He is doing.
come through for us by a certain deadline and to answer us the
way we ask Him to. When He doesn’t, we begin to feel either
disillusionment or rank bitterness. We think, God doesn’t hear me. God doesn’t respond.
God must not care. But not one of those statements is true. The truth is that God’s timing is
not in keeping with our timing. Mary and Martha had to learn that. It can be a hard lesson.
You can maintain one of two different perspectives throughout every conscious moment
of your life: the human perspective or the divine perspective.
The human perspective says this if your brother falls seriously ill: “Lord, my brother is
sick. I want him to live. He’s too young to die. I know that You can heal him, and I believe
that You ought to heal him. So please come now and put him back on his feet.” That’s the
human perspective. That’s telling God what He should do.
Now here’s the divine perspective: “Lord, I’m facing a crisis with my brother. I can trust
You, and I want to trust You. I want to leave it up to You to do what is best for my brother.
It’s my desire that he live and that we enjoy a continued relationship on earth together. But
I submit to You. I resign myself to Your plan. With great delight I wait upon Your answer.”
To have the divine perspective is to trust that God knows what He is doing. It’s the better
of the two, but it’s so much harder.
It’s one thing to sit in a nice, comfortable place and say to ourselves, “Okay! That’s
the way I’m going to handle it the next time a crisis comes.” (It would be marvelous if you
could!) But as difficult as it is, the real goal of maturity is being able to handle things from
the divine perspective when you are in the lurch. You can do it, but it takes an incredible
amount of faith. It means having absolute certainty that with God there are no accidents
and that He is never late.





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