I never wanted this book to end! I was wrapped into this story from the beginning and found myself thinking about about Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson. This book was so full of history and wonderful truths that I found myself passing along little sentences for friends to encourage them in their suffering. Both of these men of faith had suffered a lot in their life. I appreciate Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey bringing these two men to life through this living book. I can not express my love for this book in words!
I think most Christians is at least familiar with with Charles Spurgeon, or at least know that he was a pastor. You can hear his quotes often in sermons or read in books. However, I did not know how greatly he suffered. It was so encouraging to me to see his humanness and his great suffering, along with his questions and doubts. The ending wrapped it all together for me, and I couldn’t help but have tears.
One scene in particlar was hard to read when it came to Thomas Johnson. Born into slavery, he didn’t think there was hope of ever being free. But God. God had other plans for his life. But first he had to go through suffering. In this case, it was the physical suffering of being beaten while the plantation owner’s wife looked on. He says that he looked at her hoping she would show mercy because she had a son close to his age, but she didn’t. She watched and then left. My heart broke to think of scenes like this happening around the world. Someone could have stopped it. But in all of his anger, God used that and his suffering to draw him to Himself through his friend, Ezekiel.
When I began reading about the early life of Spurgeon and the early like of Johnson, I couldn’t figure out how their paths could possibly meet. They were on opposite sides of the world, living two different lives. The first time Thomas heard about Charles, he was in slavery. Then in his freedom, he becomes friends with Charles. That story is a beautiful one. The love, the passion, the boldness, the honesty that is in that friendship is one that most long to have. They lived that verse about “iron sharpening iron.” They pushed each other along in their journey to finish well for Christ, no matter the pain they endured, both in their young lives and all throughout their lives.
This book needs to be the next book you read! You won’t be disappointed.
I received this book free from Lifeway/B&H Publishing in exchange for my HONEST opinion of this book.