By Carol Round (excerpt)

The trouble tree

tree

A carpenter was hired to help a man restore an old house. He'd just finished his first day on the job and everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. First, on his way to work he had a flat tire, costing him an hour's worth of pay. Next, his electric saw broke. As he prepared to leave work, his old truck refused to start.

His new boss offered to give him a lift home. During the entire drive to his house, the carpenter sat silently, staring out the window. On arriving, he invited his boss in to meet his family. As they walked toward the front door, the carpenter paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

Opening the door to his house, the man underwent an incredible transformation. Hugging his two children and kissing his wife, the carpenter's face broke into a big grin.

Later, while walking his boss to his car, the man said, "Thank you for the ride home."

His boss then asked, "I'm curious about the tree by the front porch. I noticed that before going into your house you stopped and touched the tree, why?"

"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I can't stop having troubles on the job, but one thing I know for sure – my troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and children. So, every night when I return home, I just hang them up on the tree. Then, next morning I pick them up again.

"Funny thing is," he added, "when I go to pick them up, the troubles aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Prayer is like a trouble tree on which we can hang our problems and leave them for God to deal with instead.

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