Persevering through Pain (Susie’s Example)

Christian book review

Gathered round in someone’s living room for Bile study, one of the women shared about a time in her life when migraines were the norm. She talked about having to sit in dark, silent rooms, unable to focus on anything. For years, there were regular times she couldn’t socialize, read, write, draw, or even listen to something without pain inhibiting her.

Listening, I prayed, “Lord, try me in any other way.”

Being stuck in one place, with so much pain and so little energy, unable to serve the way I want to serve sounded like torment to me. Especially because of how it would affect loved ones.

I know many believers who, whether because of chronic illness or a temporary (major) setback, face this kind of challenge.

Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles Spurgeon the “prince of preachers,” was housebound due to a painful illness for a significant portion of her life. While her husband and sons were famously active for the Lord locally and globally, she was confined.

Still, Susie served faithfully. Click To Tweet

In Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, author Ray Rhodes offers in-depth insight into this hero of the faith.

I’ve found historical biographies tend to either be so detailed they’re dry or so story-like they’re shallow. Susie is neither.

Rhodes brings the character of Susie to life in compelling, easy to follow prose. Weaving historical context in with snippets of letters and research, Rhodes shares Susie’s story in a way that is educational, respectful, and engaging.

Some of the great services of Susie’s life include:

  • Her godly dedication to her pastor-husband, sons, and loved ones
  • Her “book fund,” a ministry that provided poor and struggling pastors with resources
  • Her persistence in godliness, hospitality, and hope through chronic pain, illness, and widowhood
  • Her commitment to the church, including helping to found one as a senior citizen
  • Her own writing, books, and letters pointing many to Christ

I believe Susie is a book that will encourage and inspire awe of God in readers who:

  • Love and support family members in ministry
  • Strive to serve despite chronic illness or pain
  • Are passionate about helping under-equipped pastors
  • Have an interest in Victorian culture and faith
  • Read Charles Spurgeon’s writing (one knows a man better by knowing his wife!)

Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon is also the precursor to Ray Rhodes next book, which will be about the love between Susie and Charles Spurgeon. I look forward to learning from their example as I have reading about Susie’s trust in and zeal for the Lord no matter what she faced.


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