Scars in Life – an Alligator Story

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 that was behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.  In the house, his mother was looking out the window. She 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 in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the large reptile. On his arms, there were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh, in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

A newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked the little boy if he would show him his scars.  The boy lifted his pant legs. 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 boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past, and from our experiences with the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Some of those scars are unsightly, and have caused us deep regret and pain to those whom we love. But, some wounds are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of our struggles, He’s been right there, holding on to us.

The Scripture teaches that God loves us.  Each of us is a child of God. He wants to protect us, and provides for us 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 is when the tug-of-war begins. If you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He will never let you go. Our job is to walk with Him, to be aware of the alligators coming after us, our loved ones, and the people the Lord brings across our paths.  And to hold on – to be a witness to Jesus, to confirm his truth, His mercy, and His love, so that God will prevail in all of our lives.

God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others. We just never know where a person is in his/her life, and what they are going through.  We should never judge another person’s scars, because we don’t know how they got them.  Right now, someone around you needs to know that God loves them, and that you love them too ~ enough to not let them go!!!