1002) The Trouble Tree

Author unknown

     The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job.  A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.

     While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.  On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family.  As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

     When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation.  His face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

     Afterward he walked me to the car.  We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me.  I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

     “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied.  “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children.  So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them.  Then in the morning I pick them up again.”

     He paused.  “Funny thing is,” he smiled,  “when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”

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I Peter 5:7  —  Cast all your anxiety on God because he cares for you.

Psalm 55:22a  —  Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you…

Philippians 4:13  —  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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O Lord, never allow us to think that we can stand by ourselves and not need Thee.  Amen.

–John Donne  (1571-1631)

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Lord, be Thou within me, to strengthen me; without me, to keep me; above me, to protect me; beneath me, to uphold me; before me, to direct me; behind me, to keep me from straying; round about me, to defend me.  Blessed be Thou, our Father, for ever and ever.  Amen.

–Lancelot Andrewes  (1555-1626)

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