As the pastor of a large church, I have to observe a great variety of experiences, and I note that some whom I greatly love and esteem, who are, in my judgment among the very choicest of God’s people, nevertheless, travel most of the way to heaven by night. They do not rejoice in the light of God’s countenance, though they trust in the shadow of His wings. They are on the way to eternal light, and yet they walk in darkness.
Darkness has a terrible power of causing fear; its mystery is an influence creating dread. It is not what we see that we dread, as much as that which we do not see, and therefore exaggerate. When darkness lowers down upon the believer’s mind it is a great trial to his heart. He cries, “Where am I? And how did I come here? If I am a child of God, why am I thus? Did I really repent and obtain light so as to escape the darkness of sin? If so, why am I conscious of this thick gloom? Did I really joy in Christ and think I had received the atonement? Why, then, has the sun of my joy gone down so hopelessly? Where are now the loving-kindnesses of the Lord?”
We are at times sorely put to it, and scarcely know what to do. Like the mariners with whom Paul sailed, we cast four anchors out of the stern, and look for the day. Oh, that we could be certain that we are the Lord’s! Oh, that we could apprehend the sure promises of the Lord, and our portion in them! For a while the darkness is all around us, and we perceive no candle of the Lord, or spark of experimental light with which to break the gloom. This darkness is very trying to faith, trying to love, trying to hope, trying to patience, trying to every grace of the spiritual man. Blessed is the man who
can endure this test.
The quote by Spurgeon above is a quote I use in my new book. The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness: A Guide for Training and Review. Why did I use Spurgeon? It is because he suffered from severe depression. He eventually had to leave his huge church six months out of the year which numbered over fifteen thousand people for light therapy on the sunny coast of Menton, France.
If you would like to be put on the waiting list for The Pastoral Handbook, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will give you an alert as soon as I get the copies. The list is going and I will sign it.
Robyn and I wrote about Spurgeon's Seasonal Affective Disorder in our book, Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. Kregel is the publisher for both books.
If you would like to get this book, (no one can beat our price), please use the link below to order Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It , go to http://heartfeltmin.org/resources.html