Thursday thoughts: God's help is present when we feel like we're 'walking through mud'


I have a sweet friend who is going through a very tough time. It breaks my heart. She sent me a text message this week saying, “It feels like I’m walking through mud but I gotta keep moving.” I have thought about this a lot since I received that message.

We all know someone who has gone through an extremely difficult time, or maybe it was even you. I can say that the most difficult time I ever dealt with was when we had to make the decision to place our daughter with special needs in a long-term residential care facility. I literally felt like my heart was breaking.

I don’t remember ever experiencing pain or hurt like that before or after that incident. It was such a difficult decision. I remember people asking me how was I still working, going to church or attending my other children’s school activities. In my mind, I thought. "I have to keep going. If I act like things are normal maybe I will feel normal in reality." I was walking through mud. There are several things I can think of when we are in those extremely tough times.

First, we are not walking alone. I learned that the only way I made a step through that thick mud was because of the Lord and His faithful prayer warriors. There are times when you just don’t have the words or the strength to pray. There are times when we are so burdened by our circumstances that we just can’t even speak a word. I have been there, but you know what happens? You have other believers who are praying for you. That is how God provides for you to keep walking through that mud. Sometimes we may not even know what a friend is going through but God brings them to mind. If this happens, you should stop and pray, send a text, or write a card, but don’t ignore it.

I remember a specific time when God impressed upon my heart to call a lady that I didn’t know very well. She was in our Sunday School class and that was really all the interaction I ever had with her. After trying to shake off that thought and asking God why, I just obeyed and called her. I got a voicemail and left a message saying, “I don’t really have a reason to call other than the Lord put you on my mind today. I just want you to know I’m praying for you.” Once I left that message I felt a peace in my spirit.

I prayed for her off and on throughout the day and when she would come to my mind in the following days. I did not see her at church for weeks. One day I ran into her in the store. She stopped me and with tears in her eyes she told me something I didn’t know, but God did. She told me the day I left that message was the one-year anniversary of the day her brother had died. I was overwhelmed because I knew it wasn’t me who thought to call her, but God impressed on my heart to call. I just obeyed. I say this because I firmly believe that God puts people on our minds and hearts when they need a prayer warrior to keep walking through the mud. He won’t allow you to walk alone.

Another thing I think about when we are walking through the mud in those tough times is the possibility of getting stuck. I can remember as a child walking by a creek that ran in the back part of our yard. It had rained a good bit and there was an awful lot of mud. My sisters and I would go to the creek to look for tadpoles. I stopped to stand still to check the water. When I got ready to walk again I couldn’t move. My feet were completely stuck in the mud. I had to end up taking my shoes off to get out of that mud.

If we are not careful we can get stuck in the mud with our hard situations as well. God never said this life would be easy. I’m not saying hard times are easy to cope with or handle – because they definitely are not! What I’m saying is, you can’t give up. You can’t lose hope. In Psalms 40:2 the Bible says “HE lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; HE set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” We have a God who will lift us out of the pit. We have a God who will pull us out of the mud and mire. We have a reason to hope. We might get stuck, but if we do God will lift us out of those shoes that are stuck in the mud and place us on a rock. He is our firm place to stand.

I do not like to walk through the mud in tough times but, then again, who does? I also do not like when my friends are walking through hard times. The only hope we can have in hard times is God. He will not allow us to stay in that hard place or walk through that mud alone. He will provide.

I was thinking about those muddy places. When the sun or “Son” shines on those places, the mud dries up. It becomes hard ground. There is even the possibility of planting seeds and growing green grass or flowers on that muddy ground. God will use and redeem those tough times in our lives. He has a purpose and He has a plan. I pray we can all be sensitive to obey when God puts someone on our hearts or minds. He does that because He knows they need prayers. He does that because He loves us so much and doesn’t want us to lose hope. He will come to our rescue.

If you are someone who has walked through muddy waters a time or two, think back to how God has used that in your life. When you have walked through a hard time God will allow you to listen and be aware of others who might need your help. He will place them in your path. Who do you need to pray for? Who do you need to walk alongside? If you just listen, I’m sure God will allow you to assist someone who crosses your path who is walking through a tough time. I pray we will all be able to give those walking through mud the hope of God to turn that mud into a new path.


Jill Johnson, a staff member at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, finds spiritual applications in her everyday experiences as a wife, mother, grandmother and Georgian. She is available to speak to your church's women's gatherings. Reach her at