The pleasure of tucking him into bed belongs to me, though the joy is often a shared one. Each night is the same, I tell my son that I love him, and I lay my hand on his head and I pray for him. He laughs because he's two and I force a smile. He doesn't yet know the seriousness of prayer, and he cannot know the burden of the heart. He just knows that bedtime is near, and he hopes that laughter will entice one last moment of play before sleep.
I pray for him to have a peaceful rest, and I pray for his health. This is easy and comes with no sorrow. In the end, I pray for his soul. Every night, I wrestle for his sake that God will take him and fashion him after the image of Christ. I plead for God to change his heart and rescue him from sin's folly.
I intercede for many sons and daughters, but this one is mine. This is my son, and my heart is knit to him. I want, more than all others, for this one to be saved. I cannot bear the thought of eternal condemnation for my son, my flesh and blood, my baby. I know that he has a sinner's heart; this, too, he inherited from his father. I know that God's swift judgment would be just and right and praiseworthy. But I tremble for it, and I doubt God's justice in it in my heart.
I comfort myself with thoughts of the age of accountability, though the evidence is scarce and rather flimsy. But this delay will not last long, for soon he will be a man and his sin will mature. What will be my comfort then if he lives and loves rebellion against the Holy One?
In my mind's eye I can see him there before the throne of the King, awaiting his sentence. My son, my only-begotten son, standing before the Lord of All Souls in the terror of judgment. I cannot shield him; I cannot save him in that day, and I cannot blame my God for doing right. Should my son be commanded to depart forever, I must kiss the rod and praise the King, for I know that He is just for doing so.
These thoughts are soul-grinding thoughts, and they leave me nearly without strength. So each night, I slip into my son's room and I lay my hand upon his head and I pray for God to spare him. He giggles while I plead.
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago