Faith, Perspective

Perspective: When We Face the Unknown

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I read in the book of Numbers, chapters thirteen and fourteen, recently. You know, the story of how Moses sent in twelve men to spy out the land God promised them? He told them to bring back a report and fruit so they could see what they were going into.

I am always a little bit astounded at how these men gave their reports. Caleb shared of the good of the land. He accurately spoke about the size of the people and the cities, but he was ready to go in and kick butt.

Ten other men in the spy party agreed that yes, the fruit was good. But . . . 

To them, the large cities were overwhelming. And the giant men who resided in that land? Forget it. These spies admitted they were as grasshoppers in their own eyes.

And that phrase is key. They approached this situation looking through their own perspective. 

The audience who listened to both reports heard the fear emanating from the men’s words, their voices. Their hearts immediately questioned why God would, in my words, bring them there to abandon them, to allow them to be annihilated. 

It’s amazing how quick they were to believe the worst about God and His intentions for them. 

Oh, the power of words and of perspective.

Each report conveyed similar information. The people filtered it through their own understanding. They chose to embrace the doubting spies’ words rather than the strength and confidence of Caleb’s words. 

This story isn’t about who was right. It’s about knowing and believing God’s promises.

And, it speaks loudly of perspective.

The Israelites believed what the fearful spies said . . . even when they admitted they were like grasshoppers in their own eyes. 

Whatever happened to looking at situations through God’s eyes? Through the filter of His promises?

And how many times have I looked at, felt through, acted on a situation based on my own understanding?

As I’ve written, this summer held some serious ups and huge disappointments. As our family began to work through some things that happened, I found myself in a dark place one day.

My mind circled round and round the things going on. I saw the poor choices. Focused on the long-reaching consequences of said choices. 

I wanted to believe God’s words, but my heavy heart and thoughts were stuck on the present, momentary situations. And I was sad. Discouraged. Disheartened.

But God . . . 

I might have had a little fender bender on one dark, hard day. Which, of course, made everything worse. 

But something happened as I began to process the accident. God revealed how He had been with me. How He had protected me. How the other person was really nice about it all, even when it had been my fault.

Somehow, being jarred from my own dark place, and talking with a trusted friend, restored a more accurate perspective. 

Got my eyes pointed back on God. 

And my heart re-focused on my Savior.

We have a choice about how we view and respond to circumstances in our lives. 

We can perceive them through our limited viewpoint, which usually filters things through our emotions and past experiences. 

Or, we can view circumstances and trials through God’s eyes. With the filter of His character and His promises.

He never promised us an easy, problem-free life. But, He has promised to walk with us through the hards, the joys, the stretching, the breaking times during our days on this side of the veil.

The question is, will we view our trials through grasshopper eyes, or through eyes that are hoping in God? Through eyes that believe He is who He says He is? 


It’s not easy to set our minds on Him, but doing this is the only way that will help us navigate through the seasons of uncertainty, of trials, and of joy.

It’s our choice. Who will form your perspective?

What about you? How do you keep an accurate perspective when walking through hard seasons? When have you seen God show up in a hard season?

Click to Tweet: We have a choice about how we view and respond to circumstances in our lives.

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkUp, #TellHisStory, and Holley Gerth

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26 thoughts on “Perspective: When We Face the Unknown”

  1. Jeanne, you’ve created a masterpiece of a post…and the pictures are AWESOME.

    Facing the unknown…well, modestly, I’m one of the most even-tempered and optimistic people I know, and I’m content to take things as they are. Wishing cancer away doesn’t work, and neither does agonizing.

    But it’s a capacity that has to be nurtured. I make sure that I read and view only works that are uplifting, that keep me pointed toward Hope (like, say, Black Panther and Jurassic World). If a book or movie is a downer, I’ll drop it without a backward glance.

    I also watch what I say. Everyone despairs at times, everyone wants to curl up into a ball and cry, but I have found that this just makes things worse. The British Stiff Upper Lip was developed and enshrined for a reason.

    Lastly, I sing (even though it hurts, and I have a terrible voice). Broadway show tunes from the 50s and 60s, Creedence, Petula Clark standards…cheerful stuff.

    I mean, how can one frown
    when singing ‘Downtown’?

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    1. Andrew, you bring up a great point. We need to be intentional about what we allow (and don’t allow) into our minds and hearts. And being conscious of what we say . . . yes. And, I LOVE that you sing. Your song selections sound perfect for maintaining a good perspective, especially when walking through life’s trials. Thank you for sharing these!

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  2. Jeanne, this is such a wonderful post. Perspective is so key to the choices we will make. We must frame our circumstances in the promises of God so we are able to walk courageously through them, trusting God each step of the way. Thank you for encouraging me this morning!

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    1. I so appreciate how you described it, Joanne…”Frame our circumstances I the promises of God…”. Yes. I believe this is the thing that enables us to walk courageously through the trials and unknowns we face in life. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

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  3. Love this post, Jeanne. The pictures are a perfect accompaniment to the thoughtful words. It is true that sometimes we have to get pretty low to see the light again. I am sorry to hear about your “dark” summer. God does not promise us ease, but He does promise to be there with us. So glad to read that your perspective has changed for the better!

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    1. Hi Laurie, thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂 God is always faithful, no matter what we walk through. The question is, will we look for Him in the unknowns and struggles, or will we rely on ourselves? I’m sorry to admit that it usually takes me some time to turn my eyes off of myself and onto Him. You’re right. God doesn’t promise us an easy life, but He does promise He’s always with us. And, things are calming down again, thankfully. 🙂

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  4. Hi Jeanne. Good thoughts. I’ve had lots of hard seasons in my life. I’m in a difficult season now. What I’m trying to focus on is God’s goodness, God’s purpose, and God’s power. I might not have a clear view what those are but I will muster faith to trust him. And since I know I won’t always have faith, I’ll find friends who will have it for me and pray for me.
    Sorry about your rough year. I’m praying for you now that God lightens your burden and brings you through.

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    1. Chip, remembering God’s character when we’re walking through hard seasons is key, o\isn’t it? I sometimes have to remember that He is good and He is God and He has plans for good (not to be mistaken for easy) for our lives. I’m glad that, even when the path forward is unclear to me, it’s crystal clear to Him.

      I am sorry you’re in a hard season right now. I’m saying a prayer for you today.

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  5. It’s so true–my perspective changes everything, and if I allow my negativity to rule the roost, the whole family suffers. I’m learning (slowly) that it’s more important for me to TALK to myself about what’s true than to listen to myself when I’m skewed in the wrong direction.

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    1. Oh, Michele. I hear you. When my perspective is negative, pretty soon all my guys are infected with it, and things never go well when we’re in that place. I love what you said about talking to ourselves in those times when what we are hearing within ourselves is poison. God’s truths spoken out loud are powerful.

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  6. I love this post, Jeanne. Both your honest and heartfelt reflections and the beautiful photos. It’s so easy to look through grasshoppers’ eyes. I love when God helps us to view circumstances and trials through His perspective. “With the filter of His character and His promises.” Yes! Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you through a difficult time. You encourage my heart. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Trudy! I am thankful God is patient enough to continue redirecting our eyes back to His perspective when they stray. 🙂 Thank you for your friendship. Sending you love and hugs back!

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  7. It’s so hard, Jeanne. I think what works best for me is to meditate and memorize God’s Word. Just one new scripture that I love every few weeks … and repeat it over and over. ❤ It was so sweet to see you at the conference.

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    1. Shelli, I love the idea of really meditating on and memorizing one new scripture every few weeks. I’m the over-achiever (in mindset) who thinks she needs to memorize some every week. And then I end up feeling like a failure when I can’t do it. Sigh. Your way of doing things is more gracious and reasonable. 🙂 I love that. Thanks for sharing your wisdom here, my friend! It was great to see you at the conference too!

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  8. That’s a really neat picture of that grasshopper! Notice how it clings to that wire? That speaks to me how I have to cling to Him when those seasons come. When deep in the word once, I ‘felt’ the Holy Spirit’s prompting to be aware and prepared for upcoming turbulence. And it did come and a wise friend praised God in His trustworthiness that He’s got us. I shall never forget that.

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    1. Wasn’t that a fun capture, Lynn? Your analogy about how the grasshopper clings to the wire is good. We do have to cling to Jesus, especially when the hard, uncertain seasons come. I am always humbled and amazed at how the Lord speaks to us if we’re listening and seeking Him. I’m glad He prepared you. I’m so glad God’s got us, too! Thank you for sharing this real-life illustration. 🙂

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  9. Jeanne, I’m sorry you’ve had a hard couple of months. (I understand hard!) But thanks for sharing your perspective here. Our perspective can be a game-changer. I’m trying to keep my eyes on God!

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    1. Betsy, please forgive the delayed response. 🙂 It was a CRAZY last week and weekend. 🙂 I know you understand hard. You are right—our perspective can indeed be a game-changer. I’m with you . . . choosing to keep my eyes on God. Thank you for stopping by, friend!

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  10. We always have choices and those determine so much of what happens next. I have said this before, but I am such a fixer and want to be in control. I lull myself into thinking that I really can take care of things on my own. God usually needs to stir things up a bit for me to realize that is not true at all. Taking time to sit with God each morning has really helped me to maintain a God perspective rather than a me perspective.

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    1. You’re right, Mary. We always have choices. And they do impact what happens next. What you shared about how you tend to live as if you can take care of things on your own and then how God stirs things up to remind you He’s there? Yeah, that could have been written about me. He does have a way of reminding us that He’s with us, and that the hard times WILL come, and He IS with us, doesn’t He? Spending daily time with God helps me keep an accurate perspective too.

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