Summary: "Those who've traversed the howling desert have things to say that no one else really can." (pg.89) Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, suffered deep depression, yet he was not silent about his lifelong, unwelcome 'friend.' In this incredibly unique and refreshing book, Zack Eswine digs deep into the Spurgeon archives and mines gems that allow us to hear from Spurgeon himself regarding his experiences, his helps, his hopes and the dark pain that shadowed him to his grave. There are extensive footnotes at the bottom of each page to enable the reader to read the sermon or context surrounding the quotes. As the back of the cover states, "This is not a self help guide, but rather a 'handwritten note of one who wishes you well.' "
Personal Thoughts: This book cheered my bleeding heart. While oftentimes there are no words to express what one is feeling, the words upon this book's pages are so accurate to the depressed condition that it hurts. Describing depression is about using a language of metaphors. As a sufferer, you search for just the right metaphor to describe your pain. You cling, with thankfulness, to the metaphors God has given you in the Psalms, and you receive the metaphors that fellow sufferers have spoken as whispered gifts of good friends. What a comfort to sit with Spurgeon, a brother and now a friend. How beautiful it is to sit and weep with him, knowing that on every page his voice says, "I understand."
Quote: "People like Job, Moses, Elijah and Jonah expressed their desire to die fully and without holding back. But they left the answer to their desires with God. They asked God to decide their lives, and refrained from deciding themselves. How hard that must have been, harder than most can fathom.
Yet, sometimes the most courageous acts of faith and wisdom look like a human being mentally harassed and wanting to die, collapsed and held before the throne of grace." --pg. 127