Porcupines and Briar Patches


Porcupines invade our lives almost daily. They pose as verbal barbs or a prickly reception to our latest suggestions. We may dismiss them as unworthy of another thought, and sometimes they are. We may accept them as a “learning experience.” Sometime all we learn is that they hurts.

Other offenses hurl us into briar patches with no obvious or easy escape. Bruises burrow into our souls and park on our hearts like stone.

Pain obscures options; it disorients us, confuses our thoughts, and crowds out reality. We jump to illogical and fearful conclusions. Our reactions may even be self-destructive.

If we fail to evict the pain, we search for ways to cope. Coping is surrender: coping harbors, and tempts us to nourish the offense. In making room for the porcupine, a good must go. That’s always the trade.

Christ did not plan for us to “cope.” He does not provide grace to cope. Because He sees us as “more than conquerors” He thrusts a sword and a strategy book into our hands to win the war.

War games begin in our minds. God urges transformation of our thoughts so we can clearly see who the enemy is and what the real issues are. Transformation supersedes all other options if the damage is permanent. Being blinded or amputated by an IED or robbed of your loved one cannot be changed. Those realities cannot be transformed. Only your thoughts about them can.

But do we want to think differently? Are we willing to pay the price of going against our offended selves, our broken hearts, our entitled self-pity, and our uncontrollable feelings? Do we really want to give up our supposed rights to anger, indignation, pity, revenge, pay back? Do we trust God to truly make it right for us?

Maybe it starts with praying for the willingness to be willing and the courage to risk letting go.

What would be the alternatives? Your perspectives are welcomed.




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