The more you travel internationally, the higher the likelihood you will experience the frustrations of getting, changing, or reapplying for a visa. Visas are a necessary part of living in many countries. This is also true if you work with the Hui in China. Visa problems can be especially stressful since delays or hiccups may cause you to unexpectedly leave the country, force you to change airline tickets, and even be rejected entry into the country. The stakes are higher so the potential stress is also higher.
As I hit some bumps in my own visa road the last few weeks I was reading in the book of Daniel, which portrays God’s complete sovereignty over the political drama in the time of Israel’s exile. Many new kings and nations arose and God shows his power over their kingdom and even over their sanity!
Nebuchadnezzar was one of the ancient world’s most powerful rulers. He was a towering warrior who was hailed as a god by many of his subjects. He was brought to his knees by Daniel’s God. Belshazzar, another powerful ruler was terrified by God’s writing on the wall. His life was taken that very night. Daniel on the other hand, although his life is threatened, is calm. Nebuchadnezzar even comments on Daniel’s commitment to God in the face of death.
Daniel’s faith is a great example to anyone dealing with political issues. A last minute visa run is nothing compared to a lion’s den and Daniel was still able to obey the Lord and keep faith not only in God’s love but in God’s power over kings and nations. When faced with the choice of finding his security in a king, in his own political power or in God, he always made the right choice. He was constantly having to choose between trusting in the power of the kings of the world or the King of the world. This emboldened him and brought many others to know God as well.
In Daniel 7 it mentions twice that “the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.” Verse 27 says, “And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” God has the power over all these kingdoms and chooses to give it to his saints.
I thought about some of the implications of that truth for my visa situation. One day I will have dominion in the kingdom of God. I who have a relationship with him will be given authority over the earth. At that time I will not need to ask permission to enter a country that already belongs to my King. There will be no frustrating visa experiences and hopefully no visas at all! This inspires me with wonder at how the King of all the earth chooses to reverse the normal order of society by exalting the humble and humbling those who exalt themselves. His ways are higher and better than ours.
This also brought me real comfort in my visa situation. When beholding God’s sovereignty over the hearts of kings and the flow of human history it seems easier to believe that he is also in charge of the humble visa worker. He is completely able to get me a visa despite delays and other roadblocks and even to deny my visa with no apparent problems in sight. God is able to perform his will. There is nothing too difficult for him!
In conclusion, we as the Church should have great confidence in the current true ruler of the nations. We should trust him as we deal with temporary governments and use these opportunities as times to remind ourselves about his sovereignty. We should also take times like these to stir our expectations and our affections for the new Kingdom where all nations will be united unto the glory of one good King.
- Pray for the detailed logistical issues that overseas workers must deal with on a year to year and sometimes month to month basis. Pray that they will have access to work closely with the people to whom they have been called.
- Pray for the hearts of overseas workers as they deal with logistical hiccups. Ask that they would not be worried but that instead their faith in Christ, the true ruler of all nations, will be strengthened.