Beck Wattier

What I’m Reading: Spurgeon’s Sorrows

     Spurgeon’s Sorrows is a helpful look at depression through the eyes of one of the most well-known preachers in recent times. By allowing us to peak into Spurgeon’s own battle with depression we find camaraderie and hope. Spurgeon knew well the darkness that can sometimes seem to hover relentlessly above, both due to physical ailments and spiritual battles, and yet he figured out how to manage and maneuver through it. Most importantly he didn’t let it pull him away from his Savior and he didn’t let it keep him from ministering to those before him.
“Personally I know that there is nothing on earth that the human frame can suffer to be compared with despondency and prostration of the mind.”
This book is divided into three main sections. The first is on understanding depression. People who suffer from depression, and those who care about someone who suffers from depression will both benefit from these chapters. Eswine does a great job at covering a few different causes of depression while tying in practical and biblical counsel. The second part concerns learning how to help those suffering with depression. These chapters offer some words of advice to those who don’t suffer from depression and therefore may not fully understand. Eswine debunks some commonly held myths and misconceptions and brings up some great approaches to how to be of benefit to the sufferer that you care for. The last part expounds on some helpful ways to cope with depression as a sufferer in the day-to-day.  I really appreciated how he shared some very practical things, while grounding and continually re-grounding things with examples from Scripture.

I picked this book up because I had heard it recommended by a few people I follow online. It particularly intrigued me because it wasn’t just a book on depression, but a book examining a great hero of the faith who was very public in sharing his struggle with depression. (On a side note, something about the cover is very welcoming and peaceful.) At a brief 143 pages, I made my way through it in two sittings. Even if you are a slow reader, you could finish it up pretty fast. I would (and will) recommend it to anyone walking through a season of depression, but beyond that I would (and will) recommend it to those that express a lack of understanding towards those struggling with depression. (Click link under picture to purchase.)

 “We very speedily care for  bodily diseases; they are too painful to let us slumber in silence: and they soon urge us to seek a physician or a surgeon for our healing. Oh, if we were as much alive to the more serious wounds of our inner man.”

Things As They Seem

There will be days where it seems like everyone has left.
You will feel completely and totally alone.
You will feel your aloneness so intensely, you will start to feel yourself separating from planet earth and beginning to float away.
You will want to cry out but as you begin to, you realize that no one is listening.
You can see them, all of them, from the air, getting smaller by the second as you rise a little higher. They are running around, busy, involved and invested in very serious things that can’t wait.
You know if you don’t cry out now, you will be far out of range for anyone to hear and all hope will be lost, but you keep quiet. You keep quiet for a few more seconds, accepting your fate and preparing for whatever is about to happen next.But you can’t. They’re right there! Maybe if they knew they could help. If you could just get them to look up, surely they would see you! So you try to speak up, but no words come out.
Maybe it’s the change in the atmosphere around you or maybe some other invisible force is holding you back.
Besides, as reality sets in you realize you are too far gone for any of them to help you. To cry out now would be to make a spectacle of yourself…”Hey, I’m in trouble here but no one can help so just gather round and watch how it’s all going to fall apart!” So you resign yourself to floating.At least this way no one will know.
At least this way no one will see you in this condition.
Maybe this will end quickly.
Maybe you will hit something that will stop you.
Maybe it’s not so bad as it first seemed.
Maybe it’s better this way.You start to get comfortable.
Darkness sets in and you grow cold.
You feel less, but it’s easier that way.
You stop fighting.
Your eyes get heavy.
Every blink lasts a little bit longer.
You take a deep breath, in and out.
In, and out.
In and…-that moment when your lungs are as full as they can get something inside you snaps: No.


Arms and legs flailing, eyes jolted open, you realize that this is not okay.
You cannot resign and give up, you will not go out without a fight.
So you scream. You scream with everything you have just hoping that maybe you’re still close enough for someone to hear.
Just maybe they can still see you and just maybe they will be willing to reach out and pull you back in.
You scream until your very soul seems to be shaken.

And then, you feel someone’s hand on your shoulder and you jump.

You feel another hand on your arm and you realize your eyes are shut.

You open them and to your amazement you are on the ground and surrounded by hundreds of people all staring straight at you with wondering eyes.

“Are you alright?”
“Do you need help?”

There will be days when it seems like everyone has left.
You will feel completely and totally alone.
You will feel your aloneness so intensely- but things are not always as they seem.Cry out.
Open your eyes.
Realize you’re surrounded.