Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise. (Hebrews 13: 15)
An inner-city missionary, stumbling through the trash of a dark apartment doorway, heard someone say, “Who’s there, Honey?” Lighting a match, he caught sight of earthly needs and suffering, amid saintly trust and peace. Calm, appealing eyes, etched in ebony, were set within the wrinkles of a weathered black face. On a bitterly cold night in February, she lay on a tattered bed, with no fire, no heat, and no light. Having had no breakfast, lunch, or dinner, she seemed to have nothing at all, except arthritis and faith in God. No one could have been further removed from comfortable circumstances, yet this favorite song of the dear lady played in the background:
Nobody knows the trouble I see,
Nobody knows but Jesus;
Nobody knows the trouble I see—
Sing Glory Hallelu!
Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down,
Sometimes I’m level on the groun’,
Sometimes the glory shines aroun’—
Sing Glory Hallelu!
And so it continued: “Nobody knows the work I do, Nobody knows the griefs I have,” the constant refrain being, “Glory Hallelu!” until the last verse rose:
Nobody knows the joys I have,
Nobody knows but Jesus!
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4: 8– 9). It takes these great Bible words to explain the joy of this elderly black woman.
Do you remember the words of Martin Luther as he lay on his deathbed? Between groans he preached, “These pains and troubles here are like the type that printers set. When we look at them, we see them backwards, and they seem to make no sense and have no meaning. But up there, when the Lord God prints out our life to come, we will find they make splendid reading.” Yet we do not have to wait until then. The apostle Paul, walking the deck of a ship on a raging sea, encouraged the frightened sailors, “Be of good cheer” (Acts 27: 22 KJV).
Paul, Martin Luther, and the dear black woman were all human sunflowers, seeking and seeing the Light in a world of darkness.
~William C. Garnett
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 92-93). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.