I was sent today a link to a YouTube video on depression which I had not previously seen, but which deserves much wider viewing.
‘I had a black dog, his name was depression’ is only four minutes long. Do take a look.
Millions have suffered with depression, amongst them many famous Christians. Charles Spurgeon and William Cowper are poignant examples.
I’ve previously written about some of the lessons we learn from Cowper about how to help those with depression and also blogged about a brilliant set of self-help books that will benefit both sufferers and those trying to help them.
There is also a very good CMF File, recently published, on depression and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
But today I found this remarkable quote from Spurgeon (pictured above), which I reproduce here, where he describes how he learnt to see his depression as part of God’s providence and a harbinger of hope.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892) was a British Baptist minister who is regarded as one of the greatest preachers who ever lived. He has been called the ‘Prince of Preachers’ and is estimated in his lifetime to have preached to around 10,000,000 people.
He describes, in chapter 11 of Lectures to My Students, the way God used the episodes of depression in his life to refine him for future service.
‘This depression comes over me whenever the Lord is preparing a larger blessing for my ministry; the cloud is black before it breaks, and overshadows before it yields its deluge of mercy. Depression has now become to me as a prophet in rough clothing, a John the Baptist, heralding the nearer coming of my Lord’s richer benison.
So have far better men found it. The scouring of the vessel has fitted it for the Master’s use. Immersion in suffering has preceded the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Fasting gives an appetite for the banquet. The Lord is revealed in the backside of the desert, while his servant keepeth the sheep and waits in solitary awe.
The wilderness is the way to Canaan. The low valley leads to the towering mountain. Defeat prepares for victory. The raven is sent forth before the dove. The darkest hour of the night precedes the day-dawn. The mariners go down to the depths, but the next wave makes them mount to the heaven: their soul is melted because of trouble before he bringeth them to their desired haven.’