Earlier this week, I wrote a piece on a man named Charles Spurgeon, and why i feel that his story is an inspiration to our young people of the church of Christ (you can read that piece here The Prince of Preachers part 1: A message for the youth. ) where this part is more focused around the depression and other afflictions that Mr Spurgeon suffered in his life.
Before I start, while I was researching his battle with bouts of depression, i found this quote from him, and this really has got me thinking about why i started this blog, why i keep pushing through the darkness of depression.
“I would go into the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.”
In the last part, I wrote about, how as a young man, Mr Spurgeon preached to a crowd of over 23,00 people, but I neglected an event that took place that took place almost a full year on 19 October 1856. During his first time preaching at Surrey Gardens Music Hall, (This by some accounts had an attendance of about 10,000 ) where in a moment of panic and confusion several people died. This was an event that shook Charles, and may have been the catalyst to his battle with depression.
As well as depression, Mr Spurgeon had a number of physical illnesses such as, Gout, rheumatism and bright’s disease. And yet, from some of his most inspiring words came from this,
“If you drink of the river of affliction near its outfall,it is brackish and offensive to the taste, but if you will trace it to its source, where it rises at the foot of the throne of God, you will find its waters to be sweet and health-giving. As long as I trace my pain to accident, my bereavement to mistake, my loss to another’s wrong, my discomfort to an enemy, and so on, I am of the earth, earthy, and shall break my teeth with gravel stones; but when I rise to my God and see his hand at work, I grow calm, I have not a word of repining.”
This is just as important to remember now as it was back in 1868 and 1873 where he followed up with second half of this quote, as long as we as people blame others for things going wrong, blame God for what we can’t control and blame ourselves for ourselves for our depression, then we are of this earth, we are not being what we’re called to be, and that’s the living embodiment of Jesus Christ on this earth. This series has really touched me, in that I’ve been given the honor to write about a man who lived over a hundred years before me but a man who, even when life seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, when his mental suffering and physical pain couldn’t feel any worse, he still manged to find the Lord in everything he did. He’s a real inspiration to the young that are told their age is what should define God’s calling on their lives, and the old, that are told because depression is a constant in their lives, that they’re not capable of doing God’s will.
This is the man who was sent as a guiding light for those of us that let the darkness of depression cover our eyes so that we lose track of Jesus. Charles Spurgeon was a living example of being humble in our pain and being hopeful in depression, and to me at least, deserves the nickname “The prince of Preachers”
I hope you enjoyed this mini series on Charles Spurgeon, this is something different to my usual content, but i really enjoyed writing these pieces! If there’s anyone that you’d like me to look into let me know! in the comments on twitter (Which you can find here Life after darkness twitter) or the Facebook group (Life after darkness Facebook group) It’ll be great to hear from you! But until next time.
Thank you for reading and May God Bless you.