Lessons from the Consulate

I have shared about our saga to get visas for Brazil. Last Friday, I had just received the news they had been denied.

Which in turn put a pit in my stomach and a fire in my pants. I went to town networking on social media with anyone I could find who worked at the Brazilian Consulate.

No response.

On Monday, we received three of the six passports back in the mail with no visas. Then on Tuesday, we received two more passports and no visas.

We were only missing one passport and six visas.

Wednesday came and went with no passport in the mail.

Finally, on Thursday, the final passport arrived. And that was a huge relief.

We quickly stuffed everything into an overnight envelope and went to the post office, completed the paperwork and sent them off.

Barring any major catastrophe, we should have our visas in hand with only a day to spare.

An interesting caveat to this story is that when we initially applied for the visas on November 26th, we were careful, but also casual. It seemed we had plenty of time and we would have no problem. Obtaining visas seemed like a simple task that was not a big deal.

When we received the news that our visas had been denied, we quickly learned that applying for and receiving a visa is a much bigger deal than we had initially imagined. After filling out paperwork online, sending passports, photos, birth certificates, ID’s and more than twenty notary signatures on everything from parental agreement forms to our driver’s licenses, we understand the significance of a travel visa.

In a similar way, unless we understand the breadth and depth of our sin against God, we will have a difficult time appreciating the gift of love that we celebrate at Christmas time every year.

Our personal depravity demanded that God send His son to take on flesh, live among us and die in our place as a sufficient substitute.

This Sunday is Christmas Eve and I look forward to spending time in John 3:1-20 learning about the immeasurable love of God that covered the sin of all people.