I wait for the Lord…and in his word I put my hope.
After two weeks of holiday baking and snow tubing and hanging out with family, my friend Sarah and her family went ice skating. Her daughter Annika took a serious spill. Her body went one way, her foot went another way, and her ankle got twisted in between. Her sprained ankle now has a purplish glow. It’ll be two weeks before she can put any weight on it. In the meantime, Annika has to wait.
Two weeks for a seven-year-old can seem like forever.
Whether you’re an adult or a kid, waiting for change can be tough.
- Waiting for a sprained ankle to heal
- Waiting to find a friend at a new church or new school
- Waiting for a difficult situation to change
- Waiting for an answer to prayer that seems light years away.
In the lull of the waiting, sometimes you need a little encouragement. Here are three different ways to encourage your kids when they’re waiting for something to change.
First, use an illustration (Here I used a smart phone illustration but a candle or cake option are explained below.)
Around sunrise or sunset, set aside 15-20 minutes (with breaks in between to do whatever you like) and take a series of pictures a few minutes apart. Do this with your kids or show them pictures when you’re done. The goal is to show them that change sometimes happens VERY slowly.
Here’s an example: This is a series of pictures I took early morning just outside my bedroom window. With the exception of the last one, the pictures were five minutes apart.
(Hard to see a lot of change at first, isn’t it?)
- When you’re done taking the pictures, ask your kids what change they see from one picture to the next. Is it a big change or a small change?
- Point out that change is sometimes so small you can’t even notice it.
- Finally, compare the first picture to the very last picture. Change is easier to see here because more time has gone by.
Second, make the transition
Waiting for things to change can seem like forever! Like waiting for cake batter to turn into a cake or cookie dough to bake into cookies.
OR, Like waiting for a broken bone to heal or waiting to find a friend at a new school or waiting for God to answer a prayer.
Even when it doesn’t seem like change is happening, it is. Change sometimes is so slow we don’t notice it BUT God is working to make that change happen. Psalm 130:5 says we can wait and have hope! So even if you don’t see change, thank God that change is happening.
Third, wrap up with a question about waiting for change
- When was a time when change seemed to happen really slowly?
- How does God tell us we can wait for change? With hope! (Read Psam 130:5 out loud and see if they can figure it out)
Let me know how it goes and whether you chose the smartphone illustration or one of the others below. How did it work?
Have a smartphone? Early morning or towards sunset, set aside 15-20 minutes (with breaks in between to eat breakfast, dinner, or just hang out) to take a series of pictures a few minutes apart. Use the talking points from above.
Have a candle? Light a candle. Every five minutes for the first twenty minutes check the circle “pool” of melted wax that begins to form around the wick. Check it once again after an hour has gone by. Use the talking points from above.
Like to bake? Make a cake (cookies, rolls) and pop it in the oven. Set a timer to check it through the oven door every couple minutes for the first twenty minutes. Check it once again when you’re ready to take it out. Use the talking points from above.