Dr. Zack Eswine serves as Lead Pastor at Riverside Church and serves as Director of Homiletics for Covenant Theological Seminary in Saint Louis Missouri. His award winning writings about honest questions and ministry, human sorrows and hope, flow out of his local life following Jesus as a pastor, husband and father.
- Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression (Christian Focus, 2015)
- The Imperfect Pastor (Crossway 2015)
- Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes (P&R, 2013)
- Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons That Connect With Our Culture (Baker, 2008)
- Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C.H. Spurgeon Can Help Your Preaching (Mentor, 2006).
Craig Marshall’s talk with Zack & Jessica Eswine continues with a discussion of another one of Zack’s books, Spurgeon’s Sorrows. This book looks to the life of Charles Spurgeon to glean biblical insight into depression. Understanding the relationship between depression and sin can be very confusing and divisive. How should we think about their relationship? What language does Scripture give us for these heavy feelings?
Earlier this year at the Ministry Weekend, Craig Marshall sat down with Zack & Jessica Eswine to talk about their life and Zack’s book, The Imperfect Pastor. As opposed to a quick fix, Zack maintains the importance of recognizing our limitations and learning to slow down in the midst of difficult seasons.
There is a time when faithful servants must rest, and they have a role to play, because after all, someone had to stay behind in the city, didn’t they, with the baggage? I think about those of us as we get older, we’re not able to physically able to do what we once did, and we wonder if being with the baggage is noble. And the answer from the shepherd king is yes. I declare it, as a way of being in the world for us, this is our rule. And I think about those of us who have known mental and emotional fatigue and disablement, and we wonder if we matter, and with the shepherd king, he says yes, you do. It is a way of being among us. In our organizational culture, this is our way. We will not fight one another. We will recognize each person’s role with the amount of work that they can do and the rest that they need. And then he says, all of us, join in this spoil, because God has done it.
Are you emotionally fatigued? It is ugly prayer that you need.
All the physical rest that you desire will not bring the rest you need if it’s emotional fatigue. It will help, it is important, but you’re going to have to ugly pray. Have you ever thought or noticed it like this, like I’ll think to myself in the fall, Midwestern fall, leaves turn different colors and things like that, we eat foods called chili, we watch football. And I’ll think to myself, if I just watch a football game, I’ll rest. And even if my team wins, the game ends, and I am not rested. Even if I laid there physically and did nothing and just put food in my mouth, not chili of course, that would be difficult, but you know, you know what I mean? It’s because whatever’s troubling me internally requires strengthening in the Lord through ugly prayer and there’s no way around it. No amount of video games for younger men, no amount of work in the yard, no amount of physical tinkering in the garage, no amount of taking a nap from the kids, no amount of whatever it is is going to do it, I must ugly pray.