This could be a stretch, but I tend to look at life in metaphors and analogies, so bare with me:
As you may have noticed from pictures, from our stories, or just because you know us, we have a stray kitty that we have been caring for pretty much since we moved here. He is the most human-like cat and full of personality and energy. We love him.
If you haven't already, meet Aubie:
We have the best set-up for him: because he is an 'outdoor' kitty, we let him out while we leave for the day to explore and run around, and then when we come home, we call him in for food and petting. It's great! (No nasty kitty litter to worry about!)
Well, for about a week, we called and called and he was nowhere to be found. Many people advised to expect "the worst" because that's just the nature of outdoor kitties. We didn't accept that and just waited for his return.
Finally, a couple of days ago, Aubie came home! He popped his head out of his little box Harris made him; he had returned! I picked him up, placed him in my lap, and loved on him.
As I pet his head, I felt a big bump on his neck. Thinking it was a burr, I dug around so that I could pick it out and clean him up. Much to my easily-nauseated stomach's disappointment, there, at the base of the thick tabby fur, was the largest, fattest, nastiest tick I had ever seen in my life.
By definition, it was a fully fed female deer tick. GROSS! This thing had to have been there for days, just sucking away, getting bigger and bigger.
Luckily I have a husband who isn't grossed out or afraid of anything (regular night in shining armor in my book), and he sprung into action to help Aubie. He grabbed a pair of tweezers and carefully and patiently plucked this nasty bug off of our sweet kitty's neck. Free at last!
This might be weird, but I started to think how annoying it would be to have something attached to you, imposing itself on you, while you feel powerless to get it off and constantly burdened by its presence. Nobody can see that it is there from first glance, so they think things are fine in your world, but they're not. You're burdened.
You may see where I'm going from here.
We all have something like that in our lives. There is someone or something that burdens you and causes fear, annoyance, anxiety, or frustration and nobody would know it was there. It is under the surface. We can maybe ignore it for a short while and we might not even be able to share with others what it is. We are constantly aware of its presence and powerless on our own to remove it. We need someone powerful to remove it and help us.
God, in our case, is the only one who can remove the 'ticks'. He is the only one who has the power to meticulously find the burden, know exactly how it is affecting us, and carefully and patiently pluck the nasty things out of our minds and hearts. Even better, He replaces those hurt places with healing and perfect love. Not only do we come away free, we get the gift of perfect, flawless love to fill the empty spot where the hurt was! What a great gift! Free at last!