Have you ever gone hiking and it began to rain? The rain is running down your face and you can feel your clothes getting wet. The mud begins to stick to your shoes and you find it harder to free your feet from the mud as you try to keep walking. You begin to think of how far it is to get back to the car. Now you wonder if you have the energy to make it. Now you wonder why did you decide this was a good idea? Now you are slogging along.
A lady at the cancer clinic was slogging along when we talked the other day. She had been discharged from the hospital after her bone marrow transplant. She is now living in an apartment because she has to stay in the area for a hundred days post transplant until her immune system gets stronger. She is still weak even though things are going as they are supposed to. She is three hours away from her family. She is wondering how she is going to make it through the next months as weakness and homesickness dog her footsteps. She is slogging along and wondering if she has what it is going to take to reach that hundred day mark.
What do you do when you are slogging along and your energy and your spirits are low? Hebrews chapter twelve uses the imagery of running a race in a stadium filled with fans cheering on the racers to help them when they hit the wall of fatigue so they can run with perseverance. The writer to the Hebrews refers to those fans as the heroes of faith who have gone before us. I have come to realize that those of us who bear the faith in the present can also cheer on those who are slogging along. As I sat with this lady and heard her story about weakness and homesickness my hearing her fears and concerns was one way I was cheering her on. I didn’t minimize her words. I didn’t tell her she would be fine. But by slogging along with her in that moment she was able to see Jesus had also endured pain and suffering and not only won His race but was now slogging along beside her in her race. To realize she was not alone helped her to see she could keep slogging until she sees her family again.
Those of you who are reading this may be thinking of someone you know who is slogging along right now and could use a call or a visit. Those of you who are slogging along may want to call someone to come down from the stands and spend some time with you slogging on the track you are on. It could make all the difference between slogging along and falling.