Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy
decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house.
In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door,
leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the
water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an
alligator was swimming toward the shore. His mother, in the house
was looking out the window; saw the two as they got closer and
closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her
son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became
alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late.
Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the
mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator
snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the
two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother
was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by,
heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the
alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little
boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of
the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his
mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the
son she loved.
The newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma,
asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs.
And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my
arms. I have great scars on my arms too. I have them because my
mom wouldn’t let go.” You and I can identify with that little boy. We
have scars too, no, not from an alligator or anything quite so dramatic
but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and
have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are
because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He’s
been there holding on to you. God loves you. He wants to protect you
and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade
into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril
– and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That’s when the
tug-of-war begins, and if you have the scars of His love on your arms,
then be very, very grateful. He did not – and will not – let you go.

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