Genesis 12:1-4; 17:1-4,19-21; 21:1-3
Allison had a new baby brother. Danny was cute and cuddly but could he ever cry! He cried in the morning before Allison left for school. He was crying when she came home in the afternoon. And it seemed to her he cried all night long!
“Won’t Danny ever stop crying?” Allison asked one evening while her mother rocked the fretful baby. “Each night when I say my prayers I ask God to please help Danny stop crying. Why won’t God answer my prayers?”
Her mother smiled. “I’m sure God will answer your prayer, Honey. Each day Danny cries less and less. You just wait and see—one of these days Danny will hardly cry at all.”
“I’ll believe that when I see it!” Allison sighed and turned back to her homework.
But what her mother said was true. A few weeks later Allison noticed that Danny wasn’t crying very much anymore. In fact, he laughed quite a lot now. Whenever Allison would talk to him he would smile and kick his little feet. All we had to do was wait, thought Allison.
One day Allison reminded her mom of that earlier conversation. “I thought God wasn’t answering my prayers. I was sure Danny would never stop crying, but you said I just had to wait. And you were right, Mom.”
“That’s the way God answers prayers sometimes,” Allison’s mother told her. “He doesn’t always answer with a yes or no right away. Now and then He tells us to wait.
“Allison, do you remember the story you heard in Sunday school about the promise God gave to Abraham? Abraham was seventy-five years old when God told him that He would give him a son. But Abraham had to wait for a long time before that promised son was born. We don’t know why God waited so long, but God knew. And God’s time is always the right time.
“God is still the same today, Allison,” she continued. “Abraham had to wait for twenty-five years before Isaac was born! But we only had to wait a few short weeks for Danny’s problem to be solved. We may not always understand why God wants us to wait. But if we are patient, He answers our prayers at just the right time—His time! He answered your prayer by telling you to wait.”
“You’re right again, Mom,” said Allison. “God always answers our prayers. And even though I don’t always understand why He tells us to wait, He does know what is best for us. I do believe God’s time is the right time.”
This lesson focuses on the times when God tells us to wait. God made a promise to Abraham, but he had to trust and believe—to wait—for quite some time before he received the promise.
Explain to your child that you will make him a promise, just as God did to Abraham. Abraham did not know an exact date when he would receive the promise, but you will choose a certain time. Look at a calendar, and pick out a date together on which a treat will be given by you (a small gift, a trip together, etc.). Be sure that nothing will interfere with what you plan!
Count the days intervening. Allow your child to mark a big red X through each day as it goes by. As he does this, reinforce the fact that you are waiting but that the promise will be fulfilled on the appointed day.