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By Tessa Gallagher

I have lived a life surrounded by death, heartache, disappointment and struggle. I need guidance to overcome this. This is the case for the rest of humankind, the lives of some being more difficult and perplexing as any I have known. However unpalatable it is, one thing is clear, suffering is part of life. Jesus suffered. Knowing this can guide us through the unbearable burdens of life. Believing that God is both absent and present can save us from being destroyed by suffering.

Steadfast God, thank you for those who stand by me on my Calvary journey.

Help me to draw near, with compassionate seeing, to others in times of pain.

Carrying the weight of our cross can cause us to stumble and fall. When we do, we need arms to stretch out, to steady us, to lift us up. We look for a presence to hear our cries, to catch our tears. We long to see the face of compassion, mercy and forgiveness. The pain felt beneath the cross and on the cross is excruciating. The ones hanging there, and the loyal companions who stand and wait, die together. Golgotha is a place of powerlessness, of emptiness where hope diminishes.

Beloved Jesus, when I fall under the weight of unrealistic expectations, when giving up seems an easy solution, give me the resolve and courage to get up and start again.


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