This is a story from a book written in 1875 by a man named Robert Boyd. It’s called the “Trials and Triumphs of Faith.” It’s put me in tears, more than once.
A minister tells us that he was spending several days in one of our western cities. He put up at a hotel, and one morning he heard, while up in his room, the most wonderful whistling he had ever listened to. It seemed like the note of a bird, but he thought it could not be that, for there was a perfectly regular tune kept up with much power. Though he was in the third story, yet the music came gushing up in its sweet melody, and seemed to fill the whole house. He ran downstairs to get a sight of the wonderful performer, looking every man that he met in the face. At last, he asked the clerk who it was that had such amazing power as a whistler. Laughing at his simplicity he pointed him to a canary bird that had been trained to perform in this way, and was valued at $150.
“How was that bird trained to sing this way?” the gentleman enquired. In reply the clerk told him that during the training process the bird is nearly starved and shut up in a room that is almost dark. While it is under this severe discipline, and its attention undivided, a bird organ is made to play this one tune over and over again, for days. Hearing nothing else, and taught by his troubles, the poor little bird takes up the tune, which he performs so perfectly.
Thus it is that God permits his people to be afflicted that they may learn the heavenly song. He shuts them up in the dark room of sorrow, away from the tempting sights and sounds of the world, that they may, without distraction, listen to his voice and learn to sing the higher melodies of glory. Blessed are those who patiently wait the Lord’s good time to work out their deliverance. When the song of Grace is fully learned, he brings them into a large place, sets their feet upon a rock, and others learn from them the sweet song of redeeming love.