The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord, I can't go on," he said. "I have too heavy a cross to bear."

The Lord replied, "My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish."

The man was filled with relief. "Thank you, Lord," he sighed, and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not visible.

Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. "I'd like that one, Lord," he whispered. And the Lord replied, " My son, that is the cross you just brought in."

When life's problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more fortunate than you imagined.

Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, There will always be sunshine after the rain. Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall, But God's always there for us all.

My father died in 1973, a few months before my 19th birthday. At the time of his death my parents had been separated for some time, so after the church service we all went to my grandparent's (paternal) house for the wake.

I overheard my grandfather start to tell another fellow a story, something about a man in heaven wanting to give back his cross, and I remember thinking to myself, "He's going to start telling jokes - how off!"

But as I listened I realised it was not a joke at all.

Over the years I have often thought of Pop telling this story, but I could never quite remember exactly how it went... until now.

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