There are some days that I can totally relate to the porcupine! I can just feel the quills poking out of my skin. There’s one that says, “Don’t talk to me!” Another one says, “Don’t look at me!” Still another one says, “Everyone leave me alone!” I am sure I look as unlovely as the porcupine on those days!
I have been thinking about this a lot lately because there are just some days when I just can’t seem to get along with people! (This has not been one of those days, but I think this is an area where God is constantly working on me!)
As I have been considering this part of my heart, I am constantly returning to the porcupine. He looks cuddly, but watch out! If you get too close or do the wrong thing, you might just get pricked with one of his points! In discovering this about myself, I decided to do a little more research on this “cuddly” critter.
It seems that the porcupine and I have a lot in common. For one thing, this prickly pal is the third largest in the rodent family. Now I don’t know about you, but I can only think of creepy, crawly, disgusting rats when I hear the word “rodent.” And when I am acting prickly, I am just being a dirty, old rat!
In addition, porcupines are nocturnal animals. They mostly come out at night, meaning that they go about their business during the time that no one will hinder them, get in their way, or bother them. When I am feeling particularly prickly, it is like I am working in the dark as well. I do my best to keep to myself, hide what I am doing, and wallow in my sin. I have no desire to be “in the light.”
But one of the most interesting things I read about porcupines is that they are addicted to salt. They will seek salt wherever they can find it. They will even chew through tires in order to get the salt from the roadways after a snow storm! Just like the porcupine, I, too, am addicted to the salt. I can’t stay prickly for long without longing for the fellowship of other believers – “the salt of the earth.”
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men” – Matt. 5:13
As I have been reflecting on the prickliness of the porcupine and the saltiness of my friends, I have also been reflecting on my Savior. Without Him, I would always be a porcupine! Who wants to love a porcupine? They don’t get a whole lot of hugs, that’s for sure! But God loves them. Just like He loves me!
When I reflect upon my God, I am struck by the extreme contrast He makes to the porcupine! Consider Psalm 91:4 – “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Last time I checked, feathers were definitely softer than porcupine quills!
Luke 13:34 compares Jesus to a mother hen – ““Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Is it just me, or is there an image here of a hen with her soft feathers trying to protect a porcupine, whose quills are trying to keep the hen away?
I am so thankful that I serve a God who loves me even though I can be as prickly as a porcupine, as slow as a turtle, as lazy as a sloth, or as stubborn as a mule! God’s “feathers” aren’t ruffled just because I’ve decided to let my “quills” show!
(By the way, in case you can’t tell, we are on the Pet unit in our home school!)
So if you’re feeling rather prickly today, rest in the care of our Savior’s wings. He loves you, protects you, and will help you make it through to another day when you can feel as lovely as a dove.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! – I John 3:1a-b