I almost regret this morning that I have ventured to occupy this pulpit, because I feel utterly unable to preach to you for your profit. I had thought that the quiet and repose of the last fortnight had removed the effects of that terrible catastrophe; but on coming back to the same spot again, and more especially, standing here to address you, I feel somewhat of those same painful emotions which well-nigh prostrated me before. You will therefore excuse me this morning … I have been utterly unable to study … Oh, Spirit of God, magnify thy strength in thy servant’s weakness, and enable him to honour his Lord, even when his soul is cast down within him.
Charles Spurgeon, “The Exaltation of Christ,” Sermon 101, NPSP (November 2, 1856). He preached this after the disaster at Surrey Gardens, when some hooligans in the back of the auditorium yelled fire, resulting in a panic that took eight lives. The above quote was from his first sermon back in the pulpit.
Prayer: Lord, preachers take their hurts and hearts into the pulpit every time they preach. When they find themselves in the valley, may they own that and be authentic in their hurts. May our congregations pray deeply for their pastors, as those fiery darts the devil shoots at them are fierce. Protect them and strengthen them in the Name of Christ. Amen.