My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.

Psalm 27:8


Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, an African-American spiritual that originated during the period of slavery came to mind this morning. I could very much relate to the words and I’m sure some of you might as well. Those slaves long ago certainly knew what trouble and pain felt like. Many spirituals were written as a result of their struggles and they sang them repeatedly.

Here’s Louis Armstrong on YouTube:

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory, Hallelujah

Sometimes I’m up
Sometimes I’m down
Oh, yes, Lord
Sometimes I’m almost to the ground
Oh, yes, Lord

Have you ever experienced so much pain that you can’t express it all in one sitting? You’ve never been able to tell enough. Never felt sufficiently heard or understood. The people in your life may hear your story but never really know it. They get tired of hearing you; you become unpopular; and then you have another problem.

Have you been there? Are you there now?

What the song says is true. Jesus is the only one who knows exactly what we’ve been through. What a relief it is to know that someone does! Yet how often we forget that Jesus is there and that he’s listening.

The slaves sang spirituals. We cry within ourselves. Some of us write poems for blogposts. Others call the crisis line. We all have ways in which we try to empty ourselves of our pain! It’s as though we think the telling will make it go away. But it never does.

Crying within ourselves is ok, but let Jesus keep company with you as you do so. Tell him everything you need to say. He’ll hear you and he’ll understand. What’s more, Jesus is one friend who’ll never tire of you.