No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. (Revelation 14: 3)
Certain songs can only be learned in the valley. No music school can teach them, for no theory can cause them to be perfectly sung. Their music is found in the heart. They are songs remembered through personal experience, revealing their burdens through the shadows of the past, and soaring on the wings of yesterday.
In this verse, John tells us that even in heaven there will be a song that will only be sung by those “who had been redeemed from the earth.” It is undoubtedly a song of triumph— a hymn of victory to the Christ who set us free. Yet the sense of triumph and freedom will be born from the memory of our past bondage.
No angel, nor even an archangel, will be able to sing the song as beautifully as we will. To do so would require them to pass through our trials, which is something they cannot do. Only the children of the Cross will be equipped to learn the song.
Therefore, dear soul, in this life you are receiving a music lesson from your Father. You are being trained to sing in a choir you cannot yet see, and there will be parts in the chorus that only you can sing. There will be notes too low for the angels to reach, and certain notes so far above the scale that only an angel could reach them. But remember, the deepest notes belong to you and will only be reached by you.
Your Father is training you for a part the angels cannot sing, and His conservatory is the school of sorrows. Others have said that He sends sorrow to test you, yet this is not the case. He sends sorrow to educate you, thereby providing you with the proper training for His heavenly choir.
In the darkest night He is composing your song. In the valley He is tuning your voice. In the storm clouds He is deepening your range. In the rain showers He is sweetening your melody. In the cold He is giving your notes expression. And as you pass at times from hope to fear, He is perfecting the message of your lyrics.
O dear soul, do not despise your school of sorrow. It is bestowing on you a unique part in the heavenly song.
Is the midnight closing ’round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He’ll give you a new, sweet song.
He’ll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness slows you down,
He’ll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.
And many a heavenly singer
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music,
“I learned it in the night.”
And many a lovely anthem,
That fills the Father’s home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal,
In the shade of a darkened room.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 214-215). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.