I cannot imagine all the factors that the leader of our nation must deliberate while working alongside six other nations to stave off war – and simultaneously considering the impact of his decisions domestically. However, the following came to mind:
1. How can we leverage this seldom-seen bipartisanism to truly create effective policy that will pass Congress?
2. Have we and our allies made a disproportionate amount of concessions?
3. Can we and should we engage in another war?
4. How will our actions be perceived by our allies, in particular Israel? Netanyahu called the accord “a historic mistake.”
5. Is this for real? Can the new Iranian leader be relied upon to buck Iran’s historic tendencies to cave to pressure and make a deal? Will he break the deal later?
With that said, I am not offering excuses here. This may be negligence. However, I am less apt to 1) assume the worst about the Administration’s actions (remember there are conservatives in support of this measure also), 2) question the salvation of the President, or 3) presume that the Administration has no endgame in mind that includes those detainees. Further, there are other nations with their own issues at the table here and should be considered when thinking about these negotiations.
The more pressing matter for me is that I have yet to read of any hope for Abedini’s release by any other means in any of the blogs, articles, or posts that I have come across. However, I know God has infinite resources and agents by which He can deliver Pastor Abedini and the other captives. God is not limited by the views and actions of Iran, nor the nations allied with the Administration in its negotiations with Iran. As a believer, what I want is for God’s will to be done and for Him to be glorified. God can choose to be glorified in many ways. For example, he could:
1. Choose to be glorified in Pastor Abedini’s suffering and willingness to stand for Him.
2. Choose to have Pastor Abedini remain in prison to win prisoners to Christ (and, as you’ve probably read, our brother is doing just that).
3. Demonstrate to Iran the resolve of His people and use this incident to end persecution of the Christian minority in Iran. (Remember those three Hebrew boys and a man named Daniel?)
4. Choose to work miracles and wonders through Pastor Saeed in the eyes of the guards and Iranian officials.
5. Choose to release Pastor Abedini by the Administration’s hands at a later date.
6. Choose to release him through negations between Iran and other nations.
7. Choose to be glorified through His people’s collective prayers and activism.
8. Choose to have Iran release Pastor Abedini without prompting – to make it even more evident that God is God alone.
9. Do something that hasn’t even entered into the minds of men!
I look forward to rejoicing with Pastor Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and their children when their husband and father is released. And until God says otherwise, that is where my prayers and faith are set. However, I do not believe that President Obama and his Administration’s decision-making process or agenda are God’s only means of resolving this situation. I plead with you to continue to pray to the Lord and not presume that this current response from the Administration represents the end for Pastor Abedini. I plead with you to put no confidence in the flesh (including our political leaders). It’s back to the prayer closets for us, saints; let us pray for our brother and sister and their children, our President, the Administration, and the leaders of the other nations involved, including Iran.
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? Jeremiah 32:27