Songs from the fire of affliction

We have been on holiday this week – at home! About a month ago we put a line through this week in our diaries and haven’t accepted any appointments or engagements. It has been marvellous – log fires every evening with a good book or film. I’ve read Douglas Botting’s biography of Gerald Durrell, an amazing man with an extraordinary affinity with animals. As early as the 1950s he was warning us that the world couldn’t sustain feeding its population much longer – and that was SIXTY PLUS years ago!

What has been most enjoyable about this week – the “pressures” were off – we had time to think, talk, enjoy each other’s company and listen to music. It made me think of 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory.” The word translated “troubles” actually means “pressures” – the scourge of 21st century living! The old translations refer to them as “afflictions.”

The wife of C.H. Spurgeon was afflicted with illness for many years – one dark autumnal evening she heard a strange musical sound like the song of a bird. She found to her surprise that it came from the fire place. The fire was letting loose music from the old oak logs burning in the fire place! She called it, “Singing in the fire.” – or – “Songs from the fire of affliction.” Our troubles, pressures, afflictions should produce songs of praise.