Can You Really Hug a Porcupine?

Gwen Smith abortion, Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, God's Promises, Grief, Healing, Prayer, Trials, Trusting God, Worship 62 Comments

Several years ago I bought a box of Cheerios that came with a free children’s book. The little book that came with the O’s had a darling and oh-so-prickly little varmint on the front cover. The title? How Do You Hug a Porcupine?

The story is about a young boy who witnessed a bunch of his friends hugging a myriad of animals. They hugged dogs, bunnies, cats, horses, cows… you get the picture… all cuddly and relatively safe.

All the while, the young boy was wondering how he could hug a porcupine. The main character tried several creative ways to affectionately approach his quilled friend. He didn’t want to get hurt, so at first he donned some baseball catcher’s gear, then he tried reaching from far away while a box protected his body, and finally he attempted to tame the spikes with marshmallows. By the end of the book, he concluded that he needed to move slowly and that the best way to hug a porcupine is this: CAREFULLY.

Cute story. Simple ending. Hug porcupines carefully. Sure. I just wish that hugging the porcupines in my life could be such a simple and cute adventure.

We all have them, you know… porcupines: struggles, trials, pains, mountains, call them what you will, they exist and they are prickly. And strangely, oh so strangely, the Bible tells us that we are supposed to hug them.

Seriously?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4, NIV)

The rewards sound good, don’t they? Who doesn’t want to persevere… to be mature and complete, not lacking anything – not deficient in any way?

Now, let me just go ahead and ask the questions that we all wonder. How in the world are we supposed to think of tests and challenges as gifts – as pure joy? I have read this charge a million times, yet the tension of it still often grinds me like fingernails on a chalkboard. I mean, c’mon! It’s upside down and inside out to consider it pure joy when we suffer and go through hard things.

When I’m going through a tough time my natural response is to complain or feel sorry for myself – not to say, “Thanks for the gift, Lord! Oh, what joy!” And if this is a good thing for me – to embrace my struggles – then why is there such a disconnect between my warm longings and this cold calling? Can we even trust a God that would call for such a bizarre paradox?

I look around at the groanings of mankind and wonder, can God truly be loving and allow little girls to be molested by loved ones… porn-addicted husbands to walk out or shut down… natural disasters to wreaking havoc on civilization as they wipe out beating hearts by the thousands… millions of babies to be legally slaughtered in the name of women’s rights?

The simpleton answer is: Yes. He can.

But what He allows – His sovereignty – is far from simple. Far from neat. Far from understandable. So how is it that the Bible teaches we have to count the trials of our lives as blessings?

I see you squirming. I don’t like this conversation, Gwen! Why can’t we just talk about the comfortable side of Christianity like love, grace, peace, unity, potluck dinners, unspoken prayer requests, and heaven? Where’s the easy button?

Patsy Clairmont said it this way, ““Hope doesn’t announce that life is safe, therefore, we will be; instead, it whispers that Christ is our safety in the midst of harsh reality.”

While a life purposed for Christ is chock full of blessings – many of which are completely incredible and comfortable – each surrendered life is also filled with struggles that God uses to help us become mature and complete. The Bible doesn’t sugar coat this. It says that we are promised challenges and trials… that when we choose to follow Christ some things will actually get worse, become more difficult – that the world is fallen – broken – and that it will hate us as it hated Christ… that we have to take up our crosses and follow Him. Love as He loves. Be holy as He is holy. Forgive as He forgives. Endure as He endures.

We must be willing to search for the blessings in the blisterings as well as in the bliss. (A TWEETABLE!)

The good news is that there are always blessings in the blisterings. We just need to look for them. When our eyes are open to see the beauty in our broken, blessings flow… even in the bloodiest of blisters. Because trials are trials with all their pain and ache, but hidden in the dark corner of every challenge is an intimate, intensely personal invitation for us to meet face to face – heart to heart – with our Comforter, our Head-lifter, our Healer, our Tear-catcher, our Provider, our Counselor, our Refuge, our LORD.

Blessings Blisterings

Dear Lord,
Thank You for being my safety. When my days are full of trials and pain, I know that I can trust You to provide the wisdom, provision, comfort, and grace I need to endure. Help me to hug my porcupines today and to see that each challenge gives me an opportunity to turn my eyes toward Yours and to know You more intimately. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

What porcupine are you struggling to hug? Need a bit more encouragement? I’ve posted a few songs below that will help equip you and inspire you toward God’s heart and strength. Click to listen to them, then CLICK HERE to POST a PORCUPINE (prayer need) as we take this conversation deeper.

SONGS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Healer of the Broken

You Are Mine

Broken Into Beautiful

Thanks for doing life with me!

Gwen

Comments 62

  1. My porcupineis my husband…I am am the doer of everything around the house..he is disabaled ..lost his leg due to MRSA in hospital 2 yrs ago…last week he had an operation on his right eye..diabetes..I am worn out ..tired ..my gripe is thru all of this he does not communicate and tell me “thanks ” for all the hard work..I even mow the yard ..clean the bins etc etc..or ask me how I am feeling …it hurts….I know that God gives me the strength to cope each day…and today I stumbled across this devotion…and wow ..it just gave me hope to carry on..knowing that God is in control and wont give me more than I can handle..I am 65 yrs old sons are married and have their own lives and families.this devotion is 10months old..but God allowed me to see it at just the right time..Thank u Gwen…God bless your ministry to us ladies

  2. I remember lying in my room when I was in high school and writing in a journal to my future husband. I’d write all sorts of notes and questions and things I’d wonder or ask this man when I eventually met him. I would wonder where he was and what he was doing and if he was thinking about me too.d It has always been such a strong desire in my heart to find a wonderful man to marry, someone who would love me and cherissh me and appreciate me for the person I am. I always thought I would get married right out of college, just like my parents, so when that plan didn’t work out, I started to get discouraged. A school mate snatched my future husband away from my arms just because she had spiritual powers, all hope was lost to me before i came across the help doctor (prayerstosaverelationship@gmail.com
    ) who i confided in, i told him my long story and he helped me regain back my lover with his prayers which is now my husband today. if you have any problem email the help doctor (prayerstosaverelationship@gmail.com
    ).

  3. My porcupine is my marriage. My husband of 23 almost 24 years told me 5 months ago he was in a 6 year affair with a coworker. We had been in christian marriage counseling for over a year and he lied to us all. He told me this the day our teenage daughter moved to another state after getting married a month before without us knowing. I also found out that 4 years into our marriage while we were building our home together, he had an affair that lasted 2 or 3 years with another coworker, he has lied for 17 years about that. He was also into pornography. Due to these happenings and going to church all these years, teaching our children about “morals” respect, God, etc.. our teenage son could not handle this information and tried to committ suicide. My husband says he has ended it and wants better. I am hurting so badly and do not know how healing can happen.

    1. Praying for you today. I am praying you have already experienced God working in the midst of all this heartache, praying the Lord brings healing & hope to your son’s heart, praying for reconciliation with your daughter, praying your husband has truly repented and is working to win back your trust. But most of all, I am praying you have & are experiencing the mercy, love, comfort & adoration of your Father. You truly are precious to Him!

  4. Prayer for so many porcupines-separation from husband after 22 years, daughters left for college (empty nesting), on my own, health issues (myself and others), physical porcupines (people) that I find hard to love and what to do with that, others that have let me down and hurt me in ways I’ve never imagined (I don’t think purposeful but hurts the same), my children’s relationship with the Lord and keeping Him #1 each and every day and not veering off track and trying to stay busy w/out spending time w/him to cover up and not deal with the issues. But at the same time, so many blessings He gives me in it all. I loved this devotional. thank you Gwen.

  5. Please pray for our young adult children, both need direction for their lives.Our daughter hasn’t been truthful to us. Also pray for healing and forgiveness regarding my sister n laws. Most of all pray for my marriage.

  6. Please pray that the 7 + yr battle (that just popped up one day) with chronic fatigue, pain, countless other issues, will vanish in Jesus’ name! Until then, pray I stay encouraged in God’s goodness and love for me. Thank you!!

  7. Prayers for my husband as he works his way through a new business and extreme stress. Prayers for my family as we have been through an extreme dark season but God has not left us. We just need strength and trust.

  8. I need prayer for my relationship with my mother. While my mom has never been a very affectionate person with me or my sisters, she has always been cordial (the object of her affection are my two brothers). At least, until the past two years. My husband owns his own business and God has blessed us with the ability to build our first new home. My mother has become so jealous to the point of scolding my 70 year old father for not being more ambitious like my husband. Oddly, she has now taken to doing lunch dates and morning coffee with my sisters without extending an invitation to me. She excluded us from Thanksgiving and Christmas plans, we celebrated with my husbands family, which consists of his widowed mother and sister. I have prayed about this, mostly for forgiveness about the anger and hurt I feel. I have felt so lost without my mom, even though she’s never been the doting kind of mom, she is still my mom.

  9. I twisted my back a few weeks ago, and the pain comes and goes, but today, it is coming, HARD, and I am trying to stick to a workout plan and this complicates it and I feel discouraged some. But I am holding onto God, and asking for His relief, but also praising Him for the opportunity to come to Him. Arrgh, but YAY, too.

  10. hello Gwen been reading devotionals from GIG since the Last 3 months. It gave me HOPE, encouraged me in so many ways, the daily scenario is just perfectly for Women! God bLess You More.. Please pray for me, i dire need of your prayers.. I and my family are in deep financial crisis. My mom died of cancer and we’re left to pay the debts. My dad is such a pain in the back at times, he’s the one who provides and I cannot stand the pressure anymore. My body already gave up, I have been out of work for 2 days now. I am just praying that I won’t end up like my mom who has got cancer because of the pressure he has inflicted on her regarding money problems. Thank’s Gwen

  11. Prayer for a more intimate relationship with God. Pray and read more, complain and argue less. To become a strong Christian in 2015. To hug my porcupines and to be thankful for all my blessings. To give God first priority in my life every day. To pray for my husband, my marriage, my children to get their lives right with Christ.

  12. I love how God works – everything in His timing. I just read this devotion this morning after a sermon on this same topic last night at church. Obviously this was a message I needed to hear. Thank you. My porcupine is for my extended family. My sister’s twelve year old son passed away suddenly in the fall and it has been a hard hit to our family. My parents and sister, who believe but have long since fallen away from church and who don’t have a personal relationship with Christ are really struggling. My sister is falling further into her addictions and not coping well when she has a fourteen year old daughter to raise. Definitely a difficult time for our family but I am so thankful for God’s great love and grace. I am so thankful that He walks beside us and is never far from us. My prayer continues to be for my family to encounter God, even at such a time as this. Thank you for your devotion and for the music. Healer of the Broken really resonated with my soul this morning and I have shared it with my family via my blog. You are such an inspiration, Gwen. Thank you.

  13. my porcupine is abuse every which way my life has been affected and literally distroyed by abuse familial and otherwise sexual emotional violence u name it. I cant hug it im trying to understand why God has allowed terrible things I will never understand

    1. I too have experienced a lifetime of abuses too brutal to mention. I empathize with you. For many, many years I drowned my pain and confusion in alcohol. It wasn’t until I stopped asking “why me” that I began the long, arduous healing process. When I realized and accepted my strengths and my weaknesses born out of the abuse I had endured, I began to change. God didn’t cause the abuse, but He allowed it because He doesn’t saddle us with more than we can endure. He is building me into a better person every day BECAUSE of my abusive background. I now am more compassionate, kinder, more confident and capable, and my capacity to forgive and love others is growing exponentially. I know prayer and daily Bible reading have helped me immensely. I have better personal boundaries. I read A LOT of Christian books, blogs, etc… God wants you to experience His love, grace, and other abundant gifts such as peace and JOY. May the Great Comforter wrap you in His arms now. He has been with you through it all. He wants to build you too. God bless you. May you receive His healing power today.

  14. My porcupine is my marriage. 2014 was a rough year for my husband and I as he struggled with anger issues and addiction. I struggled with how to cope with it all and am afraid wasn’t very graceful in doing so. At the end of 2014 I began looking for a home and plan out my separation from my husband. I put in for a place and am afraid I didn’t get it. My focus for 2015 is shifting more towards God and less towards the worldly affairs in hopes that our marriage gets better. Prayers are definitely appreciated as my children have struggled with this as well.

    1. Lifting you up in prayer, Athena. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we hope and often we are left disappointed with those who are supposed to not disappoint. And yet at the end of the day, we are all imperfect people and our hope does need to be focused on our Heavenly Father. It is only through Him that all our needs can be met. Sometimes it is easy to lose that focus as we expect our spouse to meet those needs and when they don’t we are left feeling lonely and hopeless. Praying that you turn to God to be your strength and salvation. Praying that you and your husband are able to work through your difficulties and disappointments and get back on track – for both of you and for your children. Praying for much grace for you, I completely understand that it isn’t easy to be graceful all the time. May you feel the Lord draw near to you today and on this journey you are on.

  15. Gwen, thanks for this great post. My monster porcupine has been the whole of 2014. I lost my job, unfairly, of 7 years in Dec of 2013. I thought, as a nurse, I would be able to find another equally awesome job fairly easily. Well, three attempts later and I have found one I like. LIKE, not love, but like. I have also been suffering from severe panic attacks since February of 2014. They are long lasting and I can’t seem to get to my right mind for days. I pray, I claim healing, I pray some more, but to no avail. I truly do not understand why God allows this to happen. Then I read your post. I know in my mind, or heart, that I must trust that He has all of this under control, but it is so hard. I praise Him every day that I have a loving husband (21 happy years married!) and three terrific kids, because without them, I may not even be here it has been so bad at times. I am going to look even harder for the bliss in the blister. I know also that I am carrying around a lot of unforgiveness toward the manager who bullied me and fired me. I am trying to let it go, because I know she was used in God’s plan for me. I appreciate any prayers and words of advice and encouragement you have. I will remember the porcupine story when times get tough.

  16. My physically, sexually, and emotionally abusive dad gave my mom syphilis which spread to her brain. She committed suicide when I was 24. We have spent periods of time up to 3 yrs apart. I am always the one to attempt restoration. I have written him that I forgive him to no avail at restoring a connection of any kind. Should I forget about him? He’s the only parent I have.

    1. Hi Susan,
      My condolences to you regarding your mother. I would like to say that you will never be abe to forget your father but I believe you can pray for him and continue in your forgiveness. You have made your efforts and feelings known, it is now his time to offer his hand to you. He may be battling with his own forgiveness and sorrow and is ashamed to face you right now. Give him some time and your continued prayer. Keep your head up and your eyes focused on GOD. 🙂

  17. My porcupine is my wonderful and intensely private and stubborn 89 year old momma who has lived alone for 21 years. She is having severe short term memory loss and I, along with my brother, are having to figure out how to care for her in this new chapter of her life. I know it’s a time for growth and moving further into my faith, but it definitely isn’t easy!

  18. my porcupines are: my marriage, sometimes I too badly want to change my husband, like the other women who spoke, how they long for the affection, love and respect from their husband. I too have prayed, begged, pleaded,for this. Recently my heart had started to become angry, bitter and resentful. I went spiral for a few weeks with a venom of being miserable and out of control that not even my children and friends were able to tolerate me. Thank God for his mercies, I have now purpose in my heart, for him to change me.
    The other one, I recently opened a small second outlet, (i feel I might ran ahead of God on this one) and started tertiary studies too. These things have always been the desires of my heart, but I love God more and desires to let his will be done in my life. Now i feel overwhelmed at times and always rushing. Is it becuz I like my comfort zone or do I need to choose. Most days I dont know what to do. I have asked God pls deliver me from myself and closed the doors he dont want me to walk thru. Pls pray for the Lord’s will to be done in my life. I know ALL things will work together for my good., even if the enemy thinks otherwise

  19. My porcupine is the priest at a church I have been at since just after he came 4 years ago is being relocated to a parish 90 minutes away. I will not give up on the church I am at but the prospect of getting to know the new priest and the risk that he may not want to be as involved in our lives as the last guy worries me. The atmosphere in a church headed by someone willing to get ‘The smell of the sheep on him.” Is very different to one where the guy just does church services etc.

  20. This message came a perfect time. My porcupine is my husband. Our relationship has been astranged for many years, although he said he loved me. For the longest time I thought it was me, which made me feel lonely and depressed. Recently I’ve noticed my husband looking sickly, I’ve asked him about it and he said don’t worry it’s my problem. Like most men he has not gone to the doctors, but has become another person willing to start a fight that I refuse to engage, I know it is the enemy’s work. I know now it isn’t me and he is struggling, I’m afraid his issue is serious. I pray for him everyday and even though he does not attend church with me he is a believer. I will read this message everyday to remind me that I need to trust God and embrace my porcupine.

  21. Please pray for the hardened relationship with my sister. I cannot say nor do anything without her getting angry. I realize the need to confront her & dispel all her false accusations. Praying for the right words.

    1. Praying for your relationship with your sister, Robin. I also have a difficult relationship with my sister and she is working really hard to shut me out right now. Hold on to truth in the face of what you are going through and when you confront, praying that you will confront in love. Praying for God to give you the right words. May God restore your relationship with your sister.

  22. My porcupine is my daughter is divorcing my son in law because of his infidelity. They have two beautiful sons ages 5 and 2. She is working 2 jobs to support the boys. I’m very concerned for the boys. I watch them just about every day and I know they feel secure with me. She is under a lot of pressure and is turning to her female boss,who is also getting a divorce, for advice. She knows about God but doesn’t know Him. I am concerned that she isn’t giving the boys the attention and security that they need. I talk to the boys about Jesus but it breaks my heart to see her and them go thru this. I ask for prayer for Lindsay and the boys. She is very stressed out and this mom can’t make it better only our Heavenly Father can. And I sure need Gods peace too

  23. My porcupine is my husband. He had an affair for a year and I found out 2 years ago. He ended the relationship after a long time and stayed in our marriage, but he has no passion for me or our relationship. He is here, and for that I’m thankful. But, I long to be wanted and admired and loved. He says he loves me, but isn’t “in love” with me. It breaks my heart. Please pray I would embrace this season God has brought us through and onto the other side. It’s so painful to feel so lonely.

  24. Thanks for the post! My porqupine is my teenage son, he is constantly taunting
    me and jokes I appropriately, his father is also a crude joker. I am struggling with depression and parrkinsons disease and don’t have any strength to deal with this.:(

  25. Thanks for your message. My 20 year old was on top of the world in life and went to dinner and experienced a spinal cord stroke leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. It has been 8 long months and he is much improved, but is still struggling with fingers and in his left leg. I am hurt beyond belief at this. No sugar coating it…I can not speak of it without crying. His life plans are up in the air and his future. Much as I want to, I can not seem to embrace the blessings that have come through this, it’s just feels like blistering! I have prayed and contined to seek God’s presence every single day since that day in April 2014 and still I hurt. I ask for prayers that God heal my broken heart and allow me to move forward so that I can love others again with the same intensity as I did prior to this event. And for continued healing for my son.

    1. Hi Patti. I’d like to start off by saying how sorry I am to hear of your son’s stroke. As I was reading your comment a certain verse, well verses, kept coming to mind. John 9:2-3. Jesus and the disciples had come upon a blind man and they asked what he or his parents had done for him to be this way and Jesus replied that they had done nothing and that he had done nothing, but that he was made this way so that the mighty works of God could be shown through him.
      As mothers, from the time we find out we are pregnant, we take on the role of protector. We are to protect them at all cost. If someone has done something to our child, it’s almost always like they have done it to us, right? We take it personally. And we tend to rush right in to try to fix or correct it. And when the wrong that we perceive cant be righted, we feel a sense of betrayal. We hurt when our children hurt. Our hearts break when they struggle. And if we as humans, who were made in the image of God, go through those same emotions with our children, I have to believe that He, too, would have those same reactions. Does He not rejoice when we triumph? Does He not catch our tears in a jar? That is how precious we are to Him.
      His life plans are not up in the air. His life is going how it was meant to go. Proverbs 16:9 says “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Prov 20:24 says something very similar. Your son had made his plans and I’m sure you were so excited abt all the things that lay ahead for him, but God is no respecter of persons. If it wasn’t a stroke, it could’ve been that he was in an accident on the way home or he could’ve choked on food at the restaurant. It could’ve been you or your neighbor’s son or my daughter. It could’ve been someone poor or wealthy. We see things in the sense of time as we know it. Minutes, days, years, and what is right in front of us. God in His wonderful ability sees out across eternity at all the lives that will intertwine b/c of his stroke. Your son had other plans.God had other plans as well. Try not to focus on what he cant do right now and the things or people he may have lost or the opportunities missed and try to focus on what he just might have gained. What you have gained. More time with your son. Testimony abt how God is healing your son.
      God is going to use this to glorify the works He is going to do in your son during his recovery. One day he may wheel his wheelchair or even walk out onto a stage before hundreds or thousands of high school seniors or college students and testify how he was on top of the world and how a stroke brought him down in the blink of an eye and how it could happen to any of them; how they should be right with God and have that salvation now and not say they’ll do it tomorrow b/c tomorrow they could be dead or lying in a bed paralyzed; he may be standing there sharing the great and mighty works did in healing his body when doctors said he would never be able to do this or that. That may be God’s plan. And how can we let that make us sad?
      Yes, watching them suffer breaks our hearts as mothers. When they hurt we do too. It’s normal to be upset, depressed, accepting, angry, irate, fall on the floor in a heap of a crying mess again. And it’s okay because we are human and we are mothers who love our children. But we also have to pick ourselves up, dust off our boots and get back on the horse b/c our children are watching us. Just like when they were babies and learning to walk. Remember how they’d look at us when they fell down, before they ever even cried to see our reaction. If it was fear and panic, they screamed and cried, whether they were hurt or not. If we were calm, and said, “You’re okay. Try again.” They would stop the tears before they ever started. He is watching your reactions. Let his reactions be based on that encouragement that everything is okay. He is okay. And then you look to your Father and listen to Him. He will tell you the same. Everything is okay. Do not fear tomorrow for I am already there.
      Do not be discouraged. Do not give up. I will remember you and your son in my prayers.

  26. My wonderful 40 year old daughter who lost her boyfriend of ten years to cancer has entered into a lesbian relationship. The Lord revealed it to me through discerned demon attacks before she revealed it to me. I am crushed, my son and his family are crushed. They lost their father six months after Tim died. My daughter was raised Christian and was baptized at age 15 at her request. Of course, she is spouting all the LGBT party line and has ridiculous answers to what the Bible says. Sometimes I feel like I am crushed to the floor and can’t get up. My son and daughter in law are appalled and protective of their six year old daughter. The woman keeps pushing the boundaries of no PDA in our presence. I keep telling my daughter I love her. Thank you and the girlfriends for your column.

  27. Please pray for my families financial issues. We are working on getting our debt under control in this new year and in doing as God asks and tithing as we are supposed to. Your message came at just the right time today…my porcupine to hug is learning to be financially responsible.

  28. I have 2 porcupines. My boss and my Son-in-law. My boss has told me to transfer to another office. We have told my Son-in-law and daughter to move out of my Mom’s house after living there for 4 1/2 years without paying Mom anything. We pray they can find some other place to live by Jan 31.

  29. I’m so thankful Gwen for your words of wisdom posted today. My “porcupine” is my husband. Please pray that God give me strength, soft voice, that my husband would open his heart with communication.

  30. Dear Gwen,
    Thank you for your posting today. My “porcupine” is one of finances. I have my own company and have struggled to find any work for 6 months now and it is taking a HUGE tol on our newly married finances. Yes we were married in August of 2013. My second marriage, his 3rd. I was making REALLY good money before June for quite a few years and I was not responsible with that income. I have incurred large tax debt and several bills that I now, with NO income can not pay. I have recently taken a part time job at Home Depot and let me tell you how humbling it is to go from $65/hr to $10.75/hr and knowing that our young adult children make more money than me. I talk with God everyday about the lesson I feel he is teaching me as my Father. He has provided for us a multitude of times, each being in what seemed the 11th hour but He has not yet failed us. All of this has brought my husband, whom is a believer but not active in his faith closer to a walk as he has witnessed me praying for our needs and seeing God provide. My husband recognizes the 11th hour blessings as God’s doing and for that, it is even a greater blessing to me! It has brought my husband to going to church with me weekly and agreeing to tithes every week. It’s not 10% but it is something every week. I feel so blessed. Sorry it has taken me so long to get to the point but here is my prayer request….would you please pray with me that He will provide a job for me that isn’t just a “job” rather a career? Something I can be passionate about and happy to go to each day? Whether it be work for my own business or an awesome job with good pay and benefits working for someone else. We just need the income…badly! As well, a prayer for my husband? That he would continue on this journey and give his life over to Jesus? That he too would be offered a supervisors position where he is currently working as he so greatly deserves and has asked for and the owner of his company has gone silent about the subject? I’m hugging the porcupine everyday….some days I’m not so excited about it but I do it…..I just need some additional answers and blessings to prayers. Thank you,

    Dawnette

  31. This morning while out of state, I woke up to a phone call from my roommate that my car was repossessed last night. There is nothing I can do today and from so far away. Instantly, God put Colton Dixon’s song “You Are”on my heart. I know things are always darkest before the dawn and everything will work our as it should. For now, I will trust God, form a game plan, and look for the blessings to be found.

  32. Loved the porcupine lesson. Please pray that I am strengthened daily. I’m ready to move higher in God’s word. I want to let go of all the gossiping in my life, money woes in my life. I want to live as God has intended, for Him, about Him, through Him. I need additional prayer yo continue to pay my tithes and get more involved in church. Also, keep my husband, children, entire family lifted up in prayer. Thank you

  33. I am just starting this journey with you . I searched for daily devotions and I think I have found what I need.This message for hugging porcupines hits home with me. A very good message to start the new year.

  34. Gail, thank you for sharing your care and perspective. How I needed to read your blog today! My son, George, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He is a young adult and because of this, he has the right to refuse the medication he needs in order to lead a normal life. I had him admitted to a hospital two days ago. Please pray with me that God touches George with peace and that George becomes proactive in his treatment.

      1. Gwen, thank you for your prayers. Prayer is so powerful! This has been such a stressful time. I want to let you know that God’s peace came to me today. It’s such a beautiful thing.

    1. Patty, I am so sorry to hear about your son. I have two nephews with schizophrenia. One for over 20 years and one about three. It is such a struggle. Eventually the younger one has stayed on his meds, I pray the cloak of Christ round about your son and to keep him safe. God bless you and your family as you travel this road, Look into NOMI. It has helped my sister.

      1. Sherry, thank you for your prayer and compassion. I have joined NAMI just recently. I feel that I am finally on the right track to getting the help my son needs, thanks to the positive guidance and direction I have found there. Tonight, I got to visit him at the hospital. Bless his heart, he has a long way to go.

  35. HAPPY NEW YEAR GWEN. These daily devotions have helped me through many days, trials, sadness, happiness, joy, etc.
    This devotion today is so on point. When I read this I s trying to think of my porcupines and how to overcome them, but I quickly realized I’m the PORCUPINE. I hurt my husband & my best friend very deeply. It was a situation that I did not intended to happen but I had a weak moment and I fell. It has been so hard for me to forgive myself. I’ve been reading about the story if David, & his repentance and how God used him even after all he had done. I can’t see this for me at this time. I’ve crushed so many hearts and their trust and that our 2 families will be fully restored.
    Please pray that I will be sensitive to their needs and hurts and that I will allow God to begin the restoration and that I will accept the consequences for my actions.
    I know God is the ultimate heather and can TO THINGS BEYOND WHAT I CAN THINK OR IMAGINE……but right now that PORCUPINE is not allowing me to accept it.
    Thank you again Grace I truly appreciate your testimonies and these daily devotions.
    Blessing love and prayers Always.
    Rose

  36. Thank you for this post. My daughter was diagnosed with myoclonic epilepsy 8 weeks ago and I would appreciate prayers for her and her doctors to be able to determine the best medicine to control her seizures. This is one porcupine I am having trouble hugging right now.

  37. Happy New Year!!
    I want to thank you and the other ladies for being such a blessing!
    This post is great because it’s so true! I DON’T want to hug my “porcupine” much less deal with it….but I know most of the time it’s GOD’s way of getting our attention or trying to get us to come back to HIM. It will truly be a task but I will try.

    1. I totally agree that this is a TASK… a prickly one! And I am constantly one for resistance too. But surely God has blessings in the blisterings. That’s where we can hang our hat of hope. 🙂

      Happy New Year, Inisha!
      Gwen

  38. Thank you for this post, Gwen! I ask that you be in prayer as my son Reid (5) goes in for surgery tomorrow (tonsillectomy). We pray for the surgery to go well and for a complete recovery. Thanks so much!

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