When Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 18, was seeking God’s will for his life, his friends and his father advised him to attend college. He applied to Regent’s Park College, and an interview was set between the head of the college and young Spurgeon. The meeting was to be in Cambridge at the home of Mr. Macmillan, the publisher. At the appointed time, Spurgeon showed at Macmillan’s house. He rang the bell, and a servant showed him into the parlor. There he sat for two hours until at last he called for the servant and was horrified to learn she had forgotten to announce his arrival. Meanwhile the head of the college had sat waiting in an adjoining room until his patience had been exhausted.
Spurgeon’s first impulse was to run after the man, to chase him to London, to explain what had happened. But he took a long walk out in the country to calm down, and Jeremiah 45:5 came to his mind so that he almost seemed to hear it audibly.
The Lord seemed to tell him not to worry about the misunderstanding or make extraordinary efforts to clear it up, but to take it as the Lord’s will and serve the Lord humbly where he was. As a result, Spurgeon never did make it to college, but it didn’t matter. He became the most powerful and successful and fruitful minister in the history of Victorian England, and he later said that he “a thousand times thanked the Lord very heartily for the strange providence which forced his steps into another and far better path.”
Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook, 2002 Edition. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), 212.