Something really struck me as I sat listening to a speaker. He said, 'would you rather get rid of the quill, or the whole porcupine'? Now, that's taken out of context, so let me enlighten you. What he was talking about, at least the way I took it, was dealing with the surface issue or the root.
So, let's say someone hurts you, in a big way. If you're like me, you have to wrestle with not taking offense. It's painful. Do you want to deal with the quill or the whole porcupine? Ok, let's take it to an extreme - let's say someone violates you sexually. Now, that's a tough one - it not only messes with you physically, but mentally & spiritually, and, as in my case, it messed with me for many years to come and on into my marriage. Now, that's pretty painful - the quill, or the whole porcupine? Do you see it? The enemy is so intentional about wanting to mess us up! Our knee-jerk reaction is to put a bandaid on the pain (quill) and not to deal with the root (the porcupine). We just want to do whatever it takes to give us relief from our pain.
Sometimes dealing with the whole porcupine can take time - its a process, but its so much better than putting a bandage on the wound and ignoring the infection underneath. Jesus know's our wounds intimately and He alone will help us navigate our way through the pain. He never meant for us to deal with it alone - no matter what it is.
Another thing that I believe the enemy throws at us is distraction. Distraction keeps us from dealing with the 'real' junk inside, which, when dealt with, leads to freedom in Christ and awesome spiritual growth. The enemy knows exactly what he's doing when he's distracting us - it's something he uses more than we realize.
Let's be bold and not fight the painful things that come into our lives. Let's not allow them to be distractions either - getting our focus off of Christ. But rather, let's allow God to use them in our lives as a tool of self-acceptance & recovery in us as followers of a loving God.