Our friend has one child, an only begotten son. Our friend’s only begotten son is a single father of an only child, his own only begotten son. He’s three years old. Satan is after our friend’s son. He has been addicted, first to alcohol and later to drugs, since he was in his teens.
The scenes have been ugly lately–almost total disregard for his little boy, domestic violence against his father, police, jail, halfway house, unconscious in a vehicle, on a ventilator in intensive care. The specifics have been different lately, but they are the latest in a long line of heartbreaks. Who suffers most? Our friend, his wife, their only begotten son, their only begotten grandson? They all suffer. God grieves. Satan is glad.
God has given this only begotten son yet another chance. He’s out of the hospital. He’s been in addiction treatment before–more than once. What will he do with his chance this time? His parents are praying. Their love for their son is tough–real, helpful, and tough. Their grandson is in their safe and loving arms. They are talking about homeschooling him.
Ray and I have an only begotten son. He loves his family almost more than we can ask or imagine. Well, we actually can imagine, because we know how much we love him. We know his heart, that place deep within him where his greatest desire is to be God’s man. He works hard in worthy work. We’re not smug about our son’s life or judgmental toward our friend. We know Satan wants our son, too.
God has an only begotten Son and He has His Son right where He wants Him–in His bosom. The apostle John says so in John 1:18 (NASB): “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (emphasis mine).
Sons are quick to want to get away from their fathers and mothers and do what they want to do. God never spent a sleepless night worrying about what His Son might get into next. Jesus was always faithful to His Father–when He was three, thirteen, twenty-three, thirty-three, and when He went back home to be in His bosom. It’s not that Satan didn’t want Jesus, too. Satan tried hard to get God’s Son: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NASB).
“Tempted in all things as we are”–that comforts me. Satan wants me and my only begotten son and my daughters and my husband and my grandchildren and everyone I love, but Jesus understands that. There is a way of escape for my friend’s only begotten son and for all the rest of us, too.
No temptation has overtaken you
but such as is common to man;
and God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted
beyond what you are able,
but with the temptation
will provide the way of escape also,
so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13, NASB