John 10:28 “. . . neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
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 of 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. An incredible tug-of-war between the two began. The alligator was much stronger than the father but the father was much too passionate to let go, and dug his nails into the little boy’s arms.
A farmer driving by heard the screams of the child, and after retrieving a rifle from his truck, raced to the water’s edge and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks in the hospital, the little boy recovered.
The local newspaper reporter interviewing the boy after the trauma asked if he would show him his scars. The little boy lifted his pant legs and said, “These are the scars from where the alligator tried to pull me under the water.” Then, he rolled up his shirt sleeves and said, “Now look at my arms. These are the scars where my father wouldn’t let me go.”
Each of us is marked. Yes, there are scars we bear in our lives because of poor choices we have made. But if we look closely, there are other marks we have incurred, where a loving sovereign God has refused to let us go. At the time, His grip of grace may seem painful, but it is all for our protection, so that we may be preserved to live, and testify of His tender mercies that He reveals to us with each new day.