No Hugging Porcupines

Written by Heather Broughman

Why do we sometimes hold onto things that cause us pain? Our fears, our failures, unforgiveness, or even false statements about ourselves. It reminds me of this silly little skit I saw at a youth event once. 

Our group was divided into teams and given instructions to come up with a short skit that would demonstrate something God had been teaching us. One of the skits presented that day was entitled, “No Hugging Porcupines.” You can imagine the laughter that title provoked. Seriously, what could hugging porcupines have to do with God, right? Wrong! I have never forgotten that humorous phrase or the truth attached. 

In the skit, a teenager shows up to the doctor’s office stating that he is experiencing chest pain and asking for the doctor’s help. Upon the doctor’s examination, he states that the teen’s chest is covered in tiny little wounds that look like pin pricks and asks the young man to walk him through his activities for the day to help discover what has caused these injuries. As the young man recounts his day, he states, “oh, and I hugged a porcupine.” The boy didn’t think anything of it at the time, he actually didn’t even realize that the porcupine, who appeared to be harmless, had hurt him. It took the boy going to the doctor for an examination to reveal the source of his pain. 

I think sometimes we can be just like that teenage boy, experiencing pain, but having no idea what is causing it. We just know that something’s not right and it hurts. So we continue to embrace the lie, the fear, the unforgiveness, either not recognizing the pain it causes or because we’ve been holding onto it for so long that we no longer are aware of the pain because it has become quite familiar to us. But we have a physician who knows us better than anyone and is ready, willing, and able to examine our hearts and minds whenever we call upon Him. 

Just as in Psalm 139:23-34, we can echo David’s prayer, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

God is ready to search our hearts and reveal the source of our pain so that we can let go of it and embrace the remedy. God’s truth, forgiveness, courage. 

I encourage you to take time today to pray the same prayer David did, and then sit, wait on the Lord. And remember…NO HUGGING PORCUPINES! 😄

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