Recently, I have been deeply impressed by the words of Christ, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). To me, this is the sum total of all the promises in the Bible: the personal presence of Jesus Christ abiding with me through all life's challenges. There is just something very comforting in knowing that He will never let me go.
God's ever-present care reminds me of an event that took place some years ago. In south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in a pond 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 happily jumped into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the pond, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
His mother was in the house. When she looked out the window, to her horror, she saw the two as they got closer and closer to each other. 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 joy, 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, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic, but the scars of a painful past. Some of our scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret.
But some wounds are because God has refused to let us go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you. Sometimes we foolishly jump into dangerous situations and the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins. Our kind Father desperately strives to deliver us from the enemy. He has great plans for you. "I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).
We should thank our heavenly Father for His tender, compassionate love. If you discover that you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He did not, and will not, let you go.
"I will never leave you, nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5).
Praying for you,