Singing Praises in the Fires of Affliction

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“At the close of a dark and gloomy day, I lay resting on my couch as the deeper night drew on; and though all was bright within my cosy room, some of the external darkness seemed to have entered my soul and obscured its spiritual vision. In sorrow of heart I asked, “Why does my Lord deal thus with his child? Why does he permit lingering weakness to hinder the sweet service I long to render to his poor servants?” For a while silence reigned in the little room, broken only by the crackling of the oak log burning in the fireplace. Suddenly I heard a sweet soft sound, a little clear musical note like the tender trill of a robin beneath my window. “What can it be? Surely no bird is singing out there at this time of the year and night.”
‘My friend exclaimed, “It comes from the log on the fire!”
‘The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music from the old oak’s inmost heart! Perchance he had garnered up this song in the days when all was well with him, when birds twittered merrily on his branches, and the soft sunlight flecked his tender leaves with gold. Ah, thought I, when the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us then indeed we are purified and our God is glorified. As I mused, the fire burned and my soul found sweet comfort in the parable so strangely set forth before me. Singing in the fire! Yes, God helping us, if that is the only way to get harmony out of these hard apathetic hearts, let the furnace be heated seven times hotter than before.”

—C.H. Spurgeon

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