Whether or not we want to admit it, each of us has had at least a taste of suffering in this life. It could be anything from the death of a loved one to a bad day at school or work. Particularly when these stresses start to wear you down, thinking about your suffering in terms of the One who overcame it first seems appropriate. There is a wonderful article released by Loyola Press about the sign of the cross and how it relates to suffering, but I just want to highlight one part:
When we make the sign of the cross we invite the Lord to join us in our suffering. We touch our forehead and move down to our breast, telling the Lord with this gesture that we want him to bend down to us. Then we cross our shoulders in a movement that asks him to support us—to shoulder us—in our suffering. In many psalms, David sings of taking refuge beneath the Lord’s wings, which the Church Fathers understood as a prophecy of our finding safety in the shadow of his crucified arms (see Psalms 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7). The Lord’s outstretched arms pledge that he understands our suffering and shares it with us.