Out of the depths I call to you, LORD;
Lord, hear my cry!
May your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
No matter where you are in your faith journey, you've felt this sentiment from the Psalmist. You've hit bottom - or so you thought. And then the bottom falls out from underneath you once again, and all you have left to do is cry out to God.
Maybe it's health problems, an addiction, a sick relationship, the loss of a job, the death of someone you love. Whatever it is, it causes you what seems to be unending pain, and all you want is peace. To sleep restfully, to arise with joy, to walk through your day with uninterrupted thoughts, to know gentleness of spirit and to reach the end of the day knowing you've been a faithful servant.
But that isn't your walk. Your walk is sleeplessness, heavy burdens, a sense of being alone and adrift, looking at what you know could be a happy life but unable to grasp it. You bear a cross - not one you chose, but that was laid upon your shoulders by another's hands.
Hear this: that cross was laid there with love. What? How could that be? How could this misery be given to me in LOVE? Isn't love supposed to be lightness, peace, ease? Isn't it enough that you follow Him, do your duty as a disciple? Why must there also be this cross?
I don't know. But He does. And you have only to trust that.
Small consolation as you lay awake for the fifth night in a row. Not much consolation when the world presses in on you as if you've stepped into an airless, lightless chamber. No consolation when your thoughts are occupied with sorrows and worries, an unbroken string of stress. The consolation of Heaven seems too far away to even imagine.
Why bother? Why continue to struggle with this cross? Why not throw it off, demand to be released from its weight, and walk upright, as others do?
Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. Pay attention, my young friends: to go against the current; this is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage! There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives. This is especially so whenever we feel poor, weak and sinful, because God grants strength to our weakness, riches to our poverty, conversion and forgiveness to our sinfulness. The Lord is so rich in mercy: every time, if we go to him, he forgives us. Let us trust in God’s work! With him we can do great things; he will give us the joy of being his disciples, his witnesses. Commit yourselves to great ideals, to the most important things. We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for little things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals, my dear young people! - Pope Francis
See, you are called to greatness, and greatness requires sacrifice. Does that help? Perhaps not. But know that Christ walks with you, His hand on your cross, lightening its load, even when it seems to be driving you to your knees. You could not move forward without Him. There is a reason, there is hope, there is consolation. Pray on, move forward, acknowledge Him who walks with you.