May 16, 2006

Scars of Life

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 father, working in the yard, saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.

Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the father grabbed his 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 father, but the father was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard his 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 father's fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he 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 Dad 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. 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, the world, 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.


Sunydazy said...

Hi again! The more I read of your blog the more I think we have a lot in common.
We are pretty far from San Antonio. We live about 40 minutes north of Dallas and Ft. Worth just outside of Denton. I visited San Antonio as a child several times but haven't been there in years.
Awesome post about scars, by the way! I've got some of those!

e-Mom said...

Your story drew me right in! A great post about scars. Thanks.

Mark Epstein said...

My Love,

Shared this with our Command Chaplain while we were in Florida preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. He thought it was quite apropos, considering the alligator attacks at the time. However, these attacks remind me of another analogy: If we don't go where we are not supposed to go, then we don't suffer needlessly, which is what Christ spoke of when he made clear the definition of "righteous" suffering. These people in Florida were eaten because they invaded the natural habitat of the alligator. If we, as Christians, willingly and knowingly enter Satan's domain, then the resulting suffering is not righteous. Yet, this story underscores the necessity of parental supervision and teaching. This child did not willingly enter the alligator's domain, but did so inadvertently and, just as the father risked everything to save his child, so our Heavenly Father gave His only begotten Son to save us from the jaws of death.

My two cents this Sunday morning. See you when I return from New Mexico. ;~}

HeartsDesire said...

This story made me cry. If I had been obedient, I wouldn't have these scars, but I'm glad God did not let go.