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THE TROUBLE TREE 

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he 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 his ancient one ton 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 tanned
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.

"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up,
there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

 
rowland @ johnmarkministries . org
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