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And UPGRADE'S Founder

   Dawn Wilson


Entries in Trusting God (3)


Waiting Well

Wise and winsome Nali Hilderman calls Christian singles to seek and live for the Lord, but her words have often spoken to my own heart as a married woman. In this UPGRADE post for Single Christians, she once again calls all of us to consider life from a biblical perspective.

"Like most people," Nali says, "I really do not like to wait—I don’t like long lines, I don’t like sitting at the airport for a flight or in traffic. I get antsy and oftentimes anxious for things I cannot control."

I (Dawn) DO hate to wait. Waiting is "a waste of time," I say—except when God has us in a waiting pattern for His purposes. Nali reminds us of some lessons the Lord might teach us in this schoolroom of waiting.

Nali continues . . .

I’ll be honest and say I have an especially hard time waiting on God. 

When I wait for other things, I can at least cognitively understand the situation: there are 10 people ahead of me and as one leaves, then I move up. 

There are 25 minutes until my flight takes off, so I can manage that. 

But with God, it often seems like those cognitive “markers” are elusive, and waiting proves angstful and difficult.  This is especially true if, like me, we are waiting on God for a relationship, especially one that will lead to marriage. 

However, God has not left us in the dark regarding this; and I want to offer us some advice on how to WAIT WELL—to give some “cognitive markers” to hang on to in the midst of our waiting.

1. Remember You are in Good Company

Not only are lots of other people waiting on God right now, but the scriptures are filled with countless people who had to wait on God. 

Most of the heroes of the faith—the patriarchs, the kings, the Jewish nation—all had to wait years for God to fulfill the promises He had given them.

Read their stories and be reminded of how they waited (some well, and others, not so well). Visit Hebrews 11 for an overview of many of them, and note especially that some died before they received God’s Promise, yet they did not waiver in their faith that God would provide. What faith!

2. Remember It’s about the Journey, Not the Destination.

More than anything, God desires relationship with us.

Often God's provisions and withholdings are meant to draw us into deeper fellowship with Him. 

I once went through a whirlwind relationship and was convinced God had finally provided a husband for me. I was left in tatters after the relationship ended.

Only through a deep wrestling with God did I discover Him saying, "

This was never about the guy; this was about my relationship with you!”

That led me to an intimacy with God I never knew was possible. Romans 8 says God works in all things. Why? So we may know Him and be conformed into the image of His Son (vv.  28-29).

3. Get busy!

Follow the examples of those in the Bible who waited on God. Though there are some negative examples, most carried on while waiting, and God used that time for what was to come. 

David was a young man when he was anointed King of Israel, but it was a few decades before that promise was fulfilled. In that time, he fought lions and bears, killed Goliath, served another king—who taught him what he was not to do—and walked with God (I Samuel 16-242 Samuel 1-2). 

4. Trust God and His Timing.

The hardest part about waiting is feeling out of control in our circumstances, yet time and time again scripture provides examples of how God is in the most minute details to get His children right where He wants them in order to provide. 

My favorite story of this is the children of Israel in Exodus. They had left slavery in Egypt under miraculous means, only to begin wandering in the desert. The Bible says God did not lead them through the land of the Philistines, though it was shorter, but took them to the Red Sea and had them camp there! 

We know what happened next. The Egyptian army came to kill them, yet God miraculously provided AGAIN for their rescue. 

Notice the key point: 

God took them to the exact place where He would prove his power and protection, even though it seemed to make no sense to the Israelites (Exodus 13:17-18).

Dear friends, are you in a season of waiting on God for a relationship or for anything else?  Which of these four markers is most challenging for you? How can you actively pursue one of these this week as you learn to Wait Well? 

Nali Hilderman is a professor of American history and political science at San Diego Christian College. She also is currently the Acting Chair for the Leadership and Justice Department. She writes on the connection between Christianity and the public square, both historically and in the present.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of AD Images, Pixabay.


Catch Me

Kaley Faith Rhea is a young author and TV show co-host with a unique perspective on life. In this Spiritual Growth UPGRADE, she asks us to consider falling back on the Lord in faith and confidence.

"I’ve never hesitated to do a trust fall. Ever," Kaley says, "But I’ll admit it’s less because I’m a trusting person and more because I’m short enough a fall from this height wouldn’t cause any real damage."

Oh, Kaley, in all my years I (Dawn) have NEVER done a trust fall. I think I'd sooner jump out of a plane than trust that my pranking friends would catch me in a trust fall! But I know you've got something to teach me ... us ... here.

Kaley continues…

In seventh grade I went to a cheerleading practice. Suddenly they wanted me to let my fellow twelve- and thirteen-year-old girls lift me up, throw me into the air and catch me.

Have you ever heard the sound of twelve- or thirteen-year-olds catching another twelve- or thirteen-year-old out of the air?

I will tell you.

It sounds like getting punched in the face.

Oh, I "noped" right outta there. Really put my trust fall record into perspective.

I think I tend to do the same thing with the Lord.

Father, I will trust you...

  • Only as far as I can be sure I won’t get hurt.
  • Or only as far as I have a backup plan in place.
  • Or only as far as I’m really the one in control here.

Which is no kind of trust at all.

In my life I have determined—through a great deal of data analysis and scientific observations—there are three specific situations during which I most need reminding that God is the One in control:

1. When everything feels out of control.

2. When I’ve accidentally convinced myself I am in control.

3. All the other times.

It is so easy when things go wrong to lose sight of the One we can absolutely trust.

Or maybe even to look at God—who is in control, after all—and to blame Him. How could He let this happen? Why didn’t He stop this?

I don’t know the answer every time to be honest. But I do know that every time God is good. He is the source of goodness.

And I do know that every time God loves you. He is the God who loved us enough to send his Son Jesus to die where we deserved to die.

God is good, even in a fallen world. God is love, even when it seems like your fallen world is especially falling apart.

When you are hurting or devastated or even just proud, and you wonder Can I trust God? Can I really trust Him?

While you’re quoting Jeremiah 29:11 to yourself, maybe listen to Paul in Romans 8, too, where he writes, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (verses 38-39).”

Paul—whose life was filled with more hardship than I know how to imagine—had this brilliant, God-given trust that none of those hardships for one moment could keep him from experiencing the love God had for him. He could feel secure in God’s love in the face of everything. He had that assurance because of Jesus.

So I suppose in my life I have discovered—only through a miracle of grace—there are three specific things I need when I am arrogant or weary or battered enough to forget in Whom I can place my trust:

1. I need to focus on Jesus.

2. I need to read about Jesus.

3. I need to ask Jesus to, by His grace, give me the wisdom to trust Him when everything human in me is screaming Jesus may be the answer to a lot of things, but Jesus can’t be the answer to this.

Jesus IS the answer to this.

 If Jesus is the answer in the face of death and demons and “anything else in all creation,” Jesus is the answer to every one of your thises.

Dear Jesus, You are perfect. You love me perfectly. Remind me through your Spirit there is no height I could fall from too high for You to catch me. If I believe You loved me enough to go to the cross, I have to believe You love me enough to catch me when my life or my ego seems out of control. Lord Jesus, I trust You.

Are there any areas of your life where you’ve been reluctant to trust in Jesus? How can you surrender to Him today?

Kaley Faith Rhea is the co-author of Turtles in the Road, releasing this year. Along with writing and teaching at writers’ conferences, she co-hosts the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ in mid-Missouri. Kaley lives in the St. Louis area.


Choosing More than 'Grin and Bear It'

Kathy Collard Miller encourages women to trust God so they can make wiser choices. In this Attitude UPGRADE, she challenges a popular statement with a more biblical perspective.

“Things are tough but that’s OK," Kathy says. "I’ll just wait it out and it’ll get better.”

When I (Dawn) find myself in the midst of struggles, I see this as an opportunity to trust the Lord — most of the time. But I'll admit there have been some situations where I tried to "gut it out" myself. And that never works!

Kathy continues . . . 

Have you ever considered your trials and found comfort through thinking, “This too will pass”?

That phrase sounds benign enough, but I’m wondering if it leaves out God in some way. Because, at least for me, it supports in my heart an attitude of, “I’ll just grin and bear it until this trial goes away.”

It doesn’t support, “God, even if I have to persevere through this trial for a long time, I’m going to call upon you and not depend upon my own inadequate power.”

Would you like to embrace the second attitude? Here’s how:

1. Recognize how “Grin and Bear It leaves out God.

I became aware of how I was leaving out God because of that attitude some time ago. As I struggled to trust God for His provision of joy and contentment in the midst of being my mother-in-law’s caregiver, I thought, “This too will pass.”

And then on the heels of that thought came, “If I just knew how much longer Audrey was going to live, I could be more patient and kind.”

I was thinking I could be more patient because I would be gritting my teeth, just waiting for the trial to end. But that’s not depending upon God.

2. Choose active joy not passivity.

“This too will pass” is very passive. It’s allowing circumstances to dictate our responses rather than looking to God.

James 1:2-4 give us the key to active joy:

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trial, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (NASB).

That verse contains active and “being aware” words, not closing our eyes to God’s help. Being active is when we pay attention to the purposes of difficulties.

Problems become God’s vehicle to growth. That can’t happen if we’re closing our eyes to what God wants to do.

3. Be aware moment by moment.

In the midst of caring for my mother-in-law, I examined that phrase, "This too will pass," more deeply. I saw that I wasn’t living in real time but in the future when things were guaranteed to get better. But there’s no guarantee life will get better. Life doesn’t become perfect until we enter heaven. Each moment and day of our lives is an opportunity to see God’s love strengthen us.

No wonder God doesn't tell us the future.

If we knew a trial was going to last a long time, we'd give up. If we knew a trial was going to be short-lived, we would grin and bear it.

We're supposed to relax in God's power moment by moment, depending upon Him, allowing Him to provide all we need. And then He’ll receive the glory, not us!

These three truths began to transform my thinking. No longer was I depending upon my limited knowledge and my strategy of passivity, but I was seeking God more passionately and seeing His hand of provision. I became more patient with my mother-in-law and saw how God was doing a work in me.

When my mom-in-law left for heaven, I knew I hadn’t been perfect, but I knew God had transformed my life now and it wasn’t in “the sweet by and by.”

That was affirmed when, a short time later, I became the main caregiver for my own mother. God took what He’d taught me and applied it to this new challenge. God never wastes anything, but we won’t see that if we’re just grinning and bearing it.

Examine your own life. Are there ways you have the attitude “this too will pass?” What is God inviting you to do about it?

Kathy Collard Miller loves to help women trust God more through her 50 books and her speaking in over 30 states and 8 foreign countries. Her website/blog is Kathy's newest book is Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today(Leafwood). It gives insights into the underlying reasons for unhealthy choices and how to have increased trust in God to make wiser choices. It contains biblical principles, insightful stories, and helpful instruction. It also offers individual and group discussion questions.

Graphic adapted: Image courtesy of nenetus at