Waiting for things to happen is a part of our everyday lives. No matter how young or old we might be, there always seems to be something that we are waiting for. Sometimes waiting is really easy to do, but other times it can be immensely difficult. How we feel about waiting for something depends on the situation and the people involved.
To help us think about waiting, let’s look at some situations where you might have to wait. As I read out each one, decide whether or not it’s easy to wait or hard to wait. If you think it’s easy to wait, stand up. If you think it’s too difficult to wait, stay seated. After reading each situation add, “Is it easy to wait or hard to wait?”
- You have three more days of school before summer vacation.
- You studied really hard for a test and you’re waiting for the teacher to give you a grade.
- You smell a batch of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.
- Your parents say they’ll take you out for ice cream, but they have to run some errands first.
- It’s Christmas Eve, and you’re pretty sure you’re receiving the gift you really wanted.
Ask students to share about their own situations where it was very difficult to wait. As students share, talk through the following questions:
- How do you feel when you have to wait for something, especially when you know that waiting is going to be hard? (Answers will vary.)
- Why is it so hard for us to wait for things? (Answers will vary.)
The video we’re about to watch shows how hard it can be to wait.
Show this video to your students [1:54; stop at 1:30]:
What is the Marshmallow Test?
- If the kids from the experiment were in our classroom today, do you think most of them would stand for “Easy to Wait” or stay seated for “Hard to Wait”? (Most would probably choose the “Hard to Wait” option.)
- Why do you think some kids give in and eat the marshmallow? (Answers will vary.)
- What might have helped other kids choose not to eat the marshmallow? (Knowing that if they waited, they would get a second marshmallow.)
We saw in the video how hard it was for those kids to wait about five minutes without eating their marshmallow. The different situations from our game might require you to wait for a few hours, days, or even weeks. But imagine having to wait for something for years and years! That’s what happens in our lesson today—the Jewish people have to wait for something they’ve wanted, and they become discouraged when they can’t hurry things along. Let’s find out how they handled their disappointment and how God showed them that He was in control the whole time.