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          Some years ago on a hot summer's day in south Florida, a young little boy 8 years old decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. He had taken swimming lessons for two summers and considered to be an excellent swimmer. In a hurry to dive into the cool water to ward off the hot summer's heat, he ran out the back door, taking off his shoes and socks as he headed for the water. He had been swimming there hundreds of times and it was a nice place to swim. Mom could see him from her kitchen window as he played. He flew into the water like always without looking around the water to see if there were any dangers. There had never been any dangers to question safety except for this time. As he swim toward the middle of the small pond an alligator was swimming toward the shore. Also there had never been any alligators in this area either in the past. But this one time, there he was all 8 foot of him and he noticed the splashing of the water as Tommy swam. The two were about to cross paths. Tommy's mother happen to be looking out the window and ran out the door screaming at Tommy to turn around and get back to the dock. Tommy looked up and seen the gator and starting swimming toward his mom with all his might with the gator closing fast. Tommy had just about reached the dock and his mother reaching out as far as she could had one eye on the gator and one on her son.


          When she was able to grab old of his arms to pull him up the gator grabbed hold of little Tommy's legs creating a tug of war between the two. The gator was much stronger than the mother but the mother was to passionate to dare let go with out a fight. A neighbor happened by and heard all the yelling and screaming and came running to the dock to help. He grabbed his gun on the way out of his truck and took aim and shot the gator behind the head so as not to harm Tommy. 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 and bruises where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.


          The local newspaper reporter who came to interview the boy about the attack, asked if he would show him his scars. Tommy smiled real big and said yes. He lifted his pajama pants legs to show the bad looking scars from the teeth of the gator. Then he said but let me show you my arms, I have great scars on my arms too because my mother wouldn't let go. These scars on my arm show me that my mom loved me so much that it will last a lifetime.


You and I can identify with that little boy. We get scars not from an alligator or anything quite so dramatic but from painful pasts. Some of the scar's are unsightly and have caused us deep regret but some wounds are because God has refused to let go in tugs of war with Satan. The scriptures teaches that God loves you and you are his child. He will fight for you if you cry out to him. He takes no interest in seeing his creation being hurt by something he can stop. In the midst of many struggles he has been there for us and we are sometimes so consumed with grief or hurt we forget he is our comfort. God knows we are humans and we are going to make mistakes that's when he has seen what is about to happen when we wade off into dangerous water's in the life. He stands ready and the tug of war begins. He will not let go of one who cry's out in his name. Be very grateful if you have any scars on your arms where he has pulled you out. What a loving God we have to put up with our misunderstood ways. Glory be to father and to the Son    Amen

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