AlligatorYears 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, 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. The
Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to
protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade
into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead.

 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 be very, very
grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

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