We are waiting to hear whether or not we will receive our visas as visiting researchers to travel back to South Africa for another year.
The stakes aren’t high. If we don’t get the visas, we can go for shorter periods of time. It will be more expensive and I will feel less settled, like things are more up in the air. It won’t mean we can’t go.
But still, it would be nice to get the visas. Or to know if we’re getting them. Soon. It would be nice not to have to wait.
While we wait, I’m trying to remember some of my favorite Bible passages about waiting with patience. Maybe if I can remember them now, they will provide sustenance when I’m going through something that demands more patience. After all, one of the characteristics of love is patience (1 Cor. 13:4).
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
Always helpful to remember love’s patience isn’t about just accepting or celebrating whatever happens.
Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. (1 Cor 13:6)
Romans 12:9-21 gives instructions for life as followers of Christ, including exercising patience. Here’s a portion.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. (Rom 12:9-13)
As volunteers in mission, we are dependent on the hospitality of strangers, and friends, and family. Actually, I believe our interdependence on one another means all of us are always dependent on the hospitality of others, but my current calling makes my dependence immediate and apparent.
Here’s another, Ephesians 4:1-3:
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The passage continues with a reminder we use at baptism, about our unity:
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Eph 4:4-5)
God is patient with me; people have been patient with me; I can be patient with those through whom God may be at work.
Two of my favorites are passages about waiting on God.
Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:22-26)
Waiting for a particular answer doesn’t mean everything else must come to a stop. I’m very grateful for Ann Voskamp’s wisdom: