Living on Pins and Needles

ALT="prickly pear cactus flowers"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Every year my little patch of prickly pear cactus blooms with the most delicate yellow flowers—a flaring contradiction to the plant’s spiny pins growing in protective clusters.

Overshadowing the cactus patch on its east side stands a magnificent Colorado blue spruce with its characteristic blueish-green needles.

This year, the living metaphor captured my attention. Pins and needles, right in my front yard.

To be “on pins and needles” is an idiom defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “nervously waiting to find out what is going to happen.”

Other idiom sites define the phrase as anxious, in suspense, worried or excited, nervously anxious.

Personally, I don’t enjoy living on pins and needles, anxious over what is going to happen. I’ve learned that such a state has absolutely no productive or positive effect on anything, particularly my health.

I’ve also learned that it’s near impossible to simply say, “I’m not going to worry about it,” whatever it may be. I must push the anxiety out of my mind and heart and substitute something else in its place.

God has known this all along.

And so he tells us how to get away from those pins and needles:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV)

Did you catch what the replacement is?

Thanksgiving. Telling God all about our worries while thanking Him.

We can thank Him for who He is, what He is, where He is—right in the thick of it with us. And like the beautiful blooming cactus flower, His peace blossoms in our hearts and minds.

We don’t have to understand how this works.

I just know that it does.


ALT="Book cover An Improper Proposal"

… and give thee peace. This time the words hit her from a different side. If she were given peace, then it was hers to accept or reject.

from An Improper Proposal






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(c) 2017 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved. 

6 thoughts on “Living on Pins and Needles

  1. “We don’t have to understand how this works. I just know that it does.”

    WHOA!! “We don’t have to understand how this works”?!?! I Never thought of that! Seriously, not once.
    WOW, thank you!!!

  2. davalynn

    Jennifer – I am soooo glad we don’t have to understand!

  3. That’s one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I remind myself of it often.
    Sitting on pins and needles is not very comfortable.
    Less worry, more trust=peace.
    Thank you for your message!

    1. Mine, too, Karen. It’s been a comfort countless times.

  4. How strange. My blog is called Living on Pins and Needles, and I found you by looking for me! What a beautiful post. Very appropriate today in America.

    1. davalynn


      How fun to hear from you – and what an informative blog you have. Thank you so much for mentioning it! Blessings to you~


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