Some time 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 across the back yard, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flung himself into the cool, refreshing, water, not realizing that as the water sucked the heat from his body, an alligator slipped quietly into the water and started swimming toward him.

His father, working in the yard, had stopped long enough to enjoy his son’s delight, and saw the eyes and snout of the alligator as it began to near the boy. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could to swim ashore.  He dashed across the yard and out on the dock to get closer to his son.

The little boy swam as fast as he could toward shore, but the fear had almost numbed him, and it was a hard struggle to make his limbs work at all. It seemed like time was running agonizingly slow, but he kept trying, flailing his arms and kicking as hard as he could, his mind running much faster than he could swim. Just as he approached where his father reached out to him from the dock, the alligator reached him.

At the same time, the father frantically grabbed his little boy by the wrists just as the alligator clamped his jaws into his calfs. That began an incredible tug-of-war.  The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father dug in his heels and refused to let go.

The father yelled at the alligator, and the alligator slapped his tail on the water and tried to turn the boy over, a tactic used by alligators to drown their victims. A farmer who was passing by, heard the awful commotion, 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 alligator, but he regained use of his legs and was able to walk again.  His arms were also scarred by deep scratches where his father’s fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he so loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy years 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 Dad wouldn’t give up and didn’t let go.”
 
You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. Not from an alligator, but the scars of our 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 waters, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril, and we forget that the enemy is prowling around 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.  Those are battle scars. He did not, and will not, ever let you go.

God has blessed you, so that you can be a blessing to others. You just never know where a person is in his/her life and what they are going through.  Never judge another person’s scars,because you don’t know how they got them. 
 
Right now, someone needs to know that God loves them, and you love them, too – enough to not let them go. And, don’t forget . . . tell Your loved ones how much you love them!!!

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