3 Ways to Look for a Different Perspective in the Midst of Difficulty

| January 25, 2018
How to look for a different perspective in the midst of it all...

Last year, for me, feels marked by a medical timeline. There was the jumping through hoops to get insurance pre-authorization, the planning and making reservations to be out of town for a length of time, and the monitoring of the medical bills—what insurance would and would not cover.

Throughout the months, I reminded myself to trust God every step of the way, and watched as He worked out the timing and details. But, when the final bills came in the mail, I felt myself start to panic. The amount we were responsible for was higher than what I had anticipated.

I had already set up a payment plan and I knew it would all work out, but seeing that final dollar amount caused my stomach to tense and my heart to pound.

What my head told me—that everything would be alright—was betrayed by the panic mode my body went into on its own.

Have you ever been there?

As I sat at the kitchen table with bills and insurance paperwork spread out in front of me, I decided I had to look at it differently. I knew the total we would have to pay, but I wanted to know what our insurance company had already paid.

The two totals were not even close. In that instant, the panic I felt subsided, and all I could do was thank God for His provision.

The same dollar amount that looked so high now appeared to be so low—all because of a different perspective.

Sometimes, a different point of view makes all the difference in our attitudes, our outlook, and our response to God.

From a different view, I could better see how God was taking care of us. Instead of anxiety and worry, I felt peace.

3 Ways to look for a different perspective in the midst of it all

When we’re in the middle of a situation, it’s hard to see past what’s right in front of us. We may know God is at work, but it’s so much easier when we can actually see what He’s working on.

I knew God had been taking care of us financially, but when I was only focused on one dollar-amount, everything else became blurred. It wasn’t until I looked at the other total—the total we didn’t have to pay—that I could see His work more clearly.

Often, in the midst of our circumstances, we have to make an intentional effort to find a different perspective.

3 Ways to Look for a Different Perspective In The Midst of It All

1. Ask God

When we’re too close to what surrounds us, it’s difficult to see it from any other way. But God sees every detail from every angle. Ask Him to help you see the situation the way He sees it. Ask Him to show you what you need to focus on in that moment. And then in the next hour. And then in the next day. When we are unable to prioritize what needs our attention, God can. He knows what’s coming next and where we need to be looking.

2. Look for How God is Working

When we’re in the midst of something, it can feel as if God isn’t actively working. Our view becomes limited to what we can see, and we forget to look for what’s not as obvious. Sometimes we have to quiet ourselves to hear from Him and realize that no matter what we are dealing with, there is so much we don’t have to deal with. What is God keeping off of your shoulders during your current circumstances? Look for how He’s been at work and the blessings you’ve received despite your current day-to-day difficulties.

3. Remember How He’s Worked in the Past

Sometimes it’s too soon to see the opposite side like I did with the bills and insurance payments. As we ask God to show us a different way of looking at a situation, remember how He’s worked in the past. Is there a time when you couldn’t see where you were going, but had to trust Him along the way? Review that situation from start to finish, focusing on how God walked you through it. Our God is not a one-time God. Whatever you are facing, He will see you through it. Draw strength from how you’ve seen Him work in the past, and let it help you keep moving forward.

Every day, God is at work in ways we can’t possibly know about or understand, taking care of multiple details so we don’t have to. When it’s not easy to see, it helps to take a step back and intentionally look for Him, even in the smallest way.

What’s been your experience? Has there been a time when a different perspective brought you peace, instead of worry and anxiety?


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23 Comments

  • Reply Patricia January 25, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Again, God has used your writing to bless and encourage, not only myself, but many others. Of that I am certain. One foot in front of the other with God leading the way, my dear. I promise you, from one who has been there that you and your loved ones will dance in victory with your hands raised praising God! As my Dad taught me, “Give time, time.”

  • Reply Brenda January 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    ((Hug)) Hope all the medical stuff has worked itself out and you’re healthy. — Great points, and, my word for this year is “Remember,” so that one especially resonates with me these days. Thanks for sharing today, and congrats to you. xoxo

  • Reply Susan Evans January 26, 2018 at 10:23 am

    When we look for how God is working, we will be encouraged that all things will work out. Yes, God has been faithful in the past, and He will continue to be faithful.
    Susan Evans recently posted…Chinese Lantern FestivalMy Profile

  • Reply Melissa January 26, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    This is one of the benefits I have found to prayer journal because it allows me to look back at the previous week, month, and even year to see how my perspective at the time has changed and to see how God has used the situation and moved in my life.
    Melissa recently posted…Book Review – Don’t Go Through Life NakedMy Profile

    • Reply Laura Rath January 26, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      What a great way to look back and remember!

  • Reply Julie Loos January 26, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Laura- I love your tips here! Even when we don’t know how God can make it work out, He works it out sometimes in a different way then we expected! Great post!

  • Reply Alice Mills January 26, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Trusting God for provision is really one of the most important spiritual disciplines, I think. He has always given me my daily bread, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been on my knees sometimes.
    Alice Mills recently posted…Four Uncomfortable Truths about PeaceMy Profile

    • Reply Laura Rath January 26, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      Right there on my knees with you Alice! Thank you for visiting here and for your comment. God bless!

  • Reply Jessica Schneider January 27, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Truths I need to come back to like everyday! Thanks for sharing, I know what it is like to have a stack of medical bills. Something similar happened to us a month ago. I crumbled in tears, as the truth set in of all the bills we had to pay right after God had lead me to transition out of my job. And you know what? It all worked out. Somehow, I can really only claim God.
    Jessica Schneider recently posted…Imagine IfMy Profile

    • Reply Laura Rath January 29, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      Trust and praise –what a difference it makes! Thanks Jessica.
      Laura Rath recently posted…SurrenderMy Profile

  • Reply Joanne Viola January 28, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Laura, I hope all your medical issues were resolved – both physically and financially. Seeing as my One Word 2018 is “focus”, this spoke to my heart. Number 3 always helps me to put the present happenings into perspective. I find myself grateful when remembering the faithfulness of God and able to trust Him again. Have a blessed Sunday!

    • Reply Laura Rath January 29, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      When I focus on how He’s made a way in the past (where I saw no way) I can’t not trust that He’ll do it again. Not always easy, but feels more natural the more I look back and trust forward. Thanks Joanne!
      Laura Rath recently posted…SurrenderMy Profile

  • Reply April Boyer January 28, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    God is faithful! To think he can help us look at a problem in a new light is just- amazing. Thanks for bringing that into the ‘light’ for me to examine. Thanks Laura, and Heather!
    April Boyer recently posted…DEFEAT A DEFEATED ATTITUDEMy Profile

    • Reply Laura Rath January 29, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you April. Praying your week is off to a good start!
      Laura Rath recently posted…SurrenderMy Profile

  • Reply Maree Dee January 30, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Laura, This was fantastic. I am sharing on my Facebook page. It goes so well with my theme on my blog. Embracing Life in the Midst of the Unexpected.
    Maree Dee recently posted…Is It Grief or Depression? Guest Post by Dr. Michelle BengtsonMy Profile

  • Reply Kaalu February 1, 2018 at 3:50 am

    Always trust in heavenly kindom

  • Reply Ann (His Whispers) February 11, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Just wonderfully written and truly inspiring… Having a Godly perspective is so important to let Joy take control and move on with the strength of God.

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