When overwhelmed, remember to praise God in times of trouble

Marvin Ewertt
Pastor Marvin Ewertt of the First United Methodist Church, Pratt, shares inspirational words about coronavirus times.

I have to tell you. I’m a bit overwhelmed dealing with all the effects this virus is having on our world. And today, the news is more grim, rather than hopeful. Things are going to get much worse before they get better.

Dealing with the technology to have the best worship experience we can have on Sundays is making me crazy. When this all started out a few weeks ago, I actually thought it’d be over in a few weeks. So thinking of it going on for a now undetermined amount of time is just overwhelming.

There’s a Scripture verse I turn to when I’m felling overwhelmed like this, when I’m too focused on what’s ahead. This especially came into play for me when I became a pastor 22 years ago. When I took my first appointment, I also started college. Which I knew would take 4 years to complete. Then I knew that seminary would take an additional 4 years to complete. I was a student, a pastor, a husband, a dad, so I was busy, to say the least.

The thought of that going on for 8 years was completely overwhelming. So, on my better days at least, I broke it down to today. What do I have to complete today? And that got me through it all.

Matthew 6:34 says, “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

A church member gave Sherri and I a plaque as a going away present. That was several appointments ago. It’s a large plaque, and it has been displayed in a prominent place in every home we’ve lived in since then. It reads: “Don’t worry about tomorrow. God is already there.”

If this situation is overwhelming you as it is me, think about today. The next couple of weeks, or even months, are going to be tough. Think about what you have to do today. And in your day, find time to think about God’s goodness in the midst of all this trouble, and give him praise.

As I walked over from the parsonage this morning, one of my favorite hymns was ringing loud and clear on the church bells. “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!” It really lifted my spirits. Praising God tends to do that for me.

Almighty God, as we give you our praise, help us to stay in today, and not worry about tomorrow, because you are already there. Amen.

Editor’s Note: This is the last column from Marvin Ewertt, pastor at First United Methodist Church in Pratt to be shared with the Pratt Tribune. He and wife, Sherri, will be moving to Texas in mid-June this year. The new pastor at Pratt First United Methodist Church as of July 1, 2020, will be Nicole Schwartz-Eck.