In the summer she may not even last two laps, her tongue hanging nearly to the ground and her breath coming in heavy puffs after just a couple hundred feet, but as I said, she is not stupid. Part of our jaunt lies in the bright, hot, direct Florida sun, and part in the deep, ten degree cooler shade of hundred year old live oaks. Every time we hit a sunny spot, my furry redhead's pace picks up to a trot as she jogs through the heat. When we reach the shade, she slows to a walk—the better to stay longer in the cooler shadows, head wagging back and forth with each heavy step, feet beginning to drag as she sees another sunny spot approaching. If she finds a fresh hole to investigate or spoor to be sniffed, she will only do so in the shade. In the sun, it just isn't worth it.
Winston Churchill supposedly said, "If you're going through hell, keep going." (The attribution is an open question.) Chloe would understand perfectly. The only way to get out of the heat, out of the bad situation you are in, is to keep putting one foot in front of the other, the faster the better. But what do I see? People who lie down in the scorching sun and wallow around in the grass waiting for someone to come and pat them on the head and tell them everything will be fine. Someone has been listening to too much health and wealth gospel.
Everything will never be fine until you get up and get going, and then "fine" is still relative. Life is hard. That is what those curses in Genesis are all about. "Thorns and thistles" is not about trying to grow a garden, it's about living a life of uncertainty, trials, illness, loss, pain, and suffering. It happens to everyone, not just you. If you went around the room and asked people to share, you would find that everyone is dealing with something. The only way to handle it is to keep going until you reach some shade, even if only for a while.
If you need help to get out of the heat, get it. Counselors and support groups should not be forbidden to Christians. Find someone who has firsthand experience. No one knows what you are going through like others who have been through the same things. No "best friend" can help you like someone who has been trained to. You are not being strong when you refuse this kind of assistance—you are simply making everyone who loves you suffer, too, by your stubbornness. It's one thing to stumble and fall as you stagger through the scorching heat of affliction, and need a hand up; it's quite another to simply sit down in it and wallow like a pig in the mud.
If a little dog knows better than to flounder in the heat, surely you should. Get yourself up and walk—trot even--into the shade. What will you find there? Your brethren, a Savior who gave himself up for you in a truly horrible fashion, and God who allowed it for your sake, who listens to your cries, and who has promised that someday there will be no more scorching heat of suffering, just the cool, and Eternal shade of comfort and ease with Him. But you will never reach it unless you keep on going.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2Cor 4:16-18)