Don’t be fooled by the prickles. Don’t be confused by the hisses. A hedgehog, although an exotic animal, has such a gentle spirit that it is difficult to imagine one living in the wild. In the Mayfield home, these masked bandits are given all they need on a silver platter…Well, more of a bowl-like platter…and not really… silver, but more…well, plastic.

But my point is, that I have grown accustomed to thinking of hedgehogs as living happily in their shredding filled cages and plastic igloos. I have become familiar with the routine of them waking up each evening munching on premium brand cat food and being loved on by a fourteen year old. The sound of them running for hours in their plastic wheels has become a routine noise throughout the dark hours of the night.

But a wild hedgie? One who has to forage for food and actually “use” those sharp quills to protect against real predators? It is easy to forget that not all hedgehogs are spoiled hedgehogs. In fact, they were created to be…productive.

“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.” – Deuteronomy 8:7-9

Up until this point, God had provided manna for the Israelites. It was a flaky bread-like substance that gave them all the sustenance they needed. Although they eventually began to complain about the monotony of the manna, we could all agree that they had it rather easy.

It is tempting to envy those who seem to be handed life on their own silver platter. It is not a difficult feat to fall into the trap of “I just wish I had it easy.” Why can’t I have her wisdom? Why can’t I have his money? Why can’t we have their marriage? We may be thinking we are counting our blessings, but we are truly intently calculating everyone else’s blessings!

The moment the Israelites came into the Promised Land, breakfast in bed ceased. No more food from the sky each morning. No more freebies. Instead, God gave them wheat and said “go make your bread.” He gave them lush greenery, pure sustaining water, fruits, grains, and hills in which they could dig for copper. He told them to be productive but he would give them the tools they needed.

Through Christ, we are given what we need to walk in our productivity. We must dig our heels into the wheat to make bread. We must get the dirt under our nails to locate the copper. Do we want water for sustenance? Grab your bucket because the water is gushing from the hillsides. We have to work for it. But He gives us on the job training.

You don’t like your career path? Get your shovel and start digging. You wish your marriage wasn’t suffering? Water it. Those deep springs that gush out of the hills and valleys should do just the trick.


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