You never let go. You never let go. You never let go.
~ David Crowder
The first time I heard this song, it made me cry. I remembered a story.
A story about a boy who was swimming. But there was an alligator. His father saw the alligator and called out. The son started swimming toward the shore, and just as he approached where his father reached out to him from the dock, the alligator reached him. The same time the father frantically grabbed his little boy by the wrists, the alligator clamped his jaws into his calves. That began an incredible tug-of-war. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father dug in his heels and refused to let go. Someone came along and shot the alligator. The boy survived, but had horrible scars. Scars on his legs from the alligator's powerful jaws. But scars on his arms from where his father dug in and refused to let go.
I think some of my biggest scars aren't from when I fell down, but from when He held on.
He held on when I got myself in trouble.
He held on when I tried to pull away in hurt or anger.
He held on when I was too complacent or lazy or distracted to move myself.
He held on when I didn't feel hold-on-able.
Each one represents a different kind of pain. If I'm really honest, some of the deepest pain I've felt has been from things I've felt wrenched away in lieu of His vision for my life. In those times, the words of Crowder's song aren't words of relief and gratitude, but words of anger and disappointment. You never let go! But I think if I could look back, the struggle would seem different now. Perhaps with the perspective of hindsight, I would see the alligator chomped down on my legs and pulling with all it's might.
Regardless of the alligator...those scars are beautiful. Because when I reach out to someone else they'll see those scars. Maybe they'll ask, "What in the world happened to you?"
And I can say, "He didn't let go."
He never will.