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.”