Thursday, July 15, 2010

Susannah Spurgeon

Susannah and Charles Spurgeon only had 10 years of marriage before Mrs. Spurgeon became chronically ill and bedridden most of the time. So for the majority of their marriage, helping her husband was done in the spiritual realm. There are many that particularly stands out to me is the incidence of Mr. Spurgeon preparing to preach over a passage of scripture that he felt the Lord had not opened to him yet. He labored and labored, praying and studying the night before he was to preach the message. Finally Susannah suggested he go to bed and rise early to begin again in his labors. During the night Mr. Spurgeon began talking in his sleep. Actually preaching in his sleep--the entire sermon he was hoping to prepare and had not been able to. Susannah didn't want to wake him and risk his not finishing and so she layed awake and pleaded with the Lord to help her remember all that her husband had spoken so eloquently as he slept. The next morning she was able to recall all that he'd spoken and they "both praised the Lord for so remarkable a manifestation of his power and love."

There are many examples of how she was his biggest prayer warrior; his closest friend and advisor.

Susannah Spurgeon continued to serve God from her sick-bed in other ways. She occasionally had shadows of doubt, but said "When the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us, then indeed are we purified and our God is glorified!"

This account of such a God-honoring, scripture-loving, devoted wife has left me so convicted, yet inspired. "Don't be so hard on yourself," Satan tells me. "Your husband is no Charles Spurgeon!" But I wonder, "Would there be more Charles Spurgeons, if there were more Susannahs?"

I know I've already posted a portion of one of her devotionals before, but this one is even better so I just had to share it :) Oh boy, can I relate to Mrs. Spurgeon and her weariness! But our loving Father is so wonderful and merciful. Oh to know him as she did...

Mine eyes fail with looking upward: O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me
(Isaiah 38:14)

Hezekiah had been sore sick when he wrote this Psalm, or ode, from which these words are taken. A long and painful illness had brought him to "the gates of the grave"...

"Mine eyes fail with looking upward." Upon first reading these words, my heart felt envious of the poor sick king's experience. What! To look up to God so constantly and continually that my eyes should be wearied with the upward glance? This surely would be a pleasant pain, a sweet sorrow, a most rare and blessed spiritual attainment. With me it is, alas! so different; my eyes fail with looking inward! The fountain of sin within seems ever rising from the depths of my nature, and overflowing the banks of my life, and my gaze is too often riveted on the dark flood, instead of being lifted to him who has cast all my sins behind his back.

But I look carefully again at the text, and find that it should read thus, 'Mine eyes fail upward.' The two words 'with looking' are interpolated, they are not in the original Hebrew. The meaning is, literally, 'Mine eye-lids droop, mine eyes are too weak to look upward.' Ah! now I can understand, and Hezekiah's words touch my very soul. It is as if he said, (what I have so often
had to say,) 'I am utter weakness, Lord; a weight of sin, and sorrow, and sickness oppress me, I am brought so low that I cannot even lift up my eyes to you; but come, sit by my bed, close to me Lord, so that I need not look up, but can shut my weary eyes in the joyful knowledge that you are looking down in tenderest pity on me, and saying, "Fear not, for I am with thee."

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