Newton felt called by God to encourage and admonish others through the written word, a man of letters whose scribblings have been preserved for centuries to benefit us today.
Recently I was perusing some of Newton's letters and found one that was especially meaningful to me as I navigate these stormy waters of depression.
The former slave trader wrote regarding trials that his friend was battling...
"...I ought rather to rejoice rather than otherwise that to you it is given, not only to believe, but also to suffer. If you escaped these things, whereof all the Lord's children are partakers, might you not question your adoption into His family? How could the power of grace be manifest, either to you, in you, or by you, without afflictions? How could the corrupotions and devastations of the heart be checked without a cross? How could you acquire a tenderness and skill in speaking to them that are weary without a taste of such trials as they also meet with? You could only be a hearsay witness to the truth, power and sweetness of the precious promises, unless you have been in such a situation as to need them and to find their suitableness and sufficiency."
Powerful truths from a man whose words still speak loud and clear...today!
Yes, God allows us to go through deep waters not only to stretch us and cause us to trust Him implicitly but brings us out on the other side so we can encourage others and say honestly..."I know what you're going through. I've been there myself."