Problem Tree: A worry-free story
One day there was a man who went to visit one of his friends, a farmer who had a lot of property on the edge of town. The farmer invited his friend to the fields where they worked together all day long. Finally, they went together to the farmer’s house for dinner with his wife and family. As they stood on the porch, the farmer put his hands on the large bush next to the patio and stood still a couple minutes. Then he led the man into his home for dinner. When the man asked the farmer about that, the farmer said “Oh, that’s my problem bush. Every night before I come in to be with my wife and children I lay all of my problems on that bush. It makes me feel lighter, freer, and I can be more present to my family.”
So, dear reader, do you have a “problem bush” of your own? Or it can be a mailbox, your car or any number of things that you symbolically touch and let go of your problems, cares and worries. This doesn’t just have to happen on the front porch of your home! No, this can be done anywhere and, really, at any time. I believe whenever, and however, we leave our problems and worries behind is a good thing, a freeing thing! It just helps to have something physical to touch, as a symbolic gesture of leaving. It is up to us, however, to let go of those things. Rather than stand there for hours and hours, maybe we should all say “Take it all, oh Lord, take it all!!” Another way I have heard this is every morning we hear from God:
“Good Morning, I love you child of mine, this is God and I will be handling all your problems today. And I do not need your help, thank you very much!”
Of course what a wonderful gift we have in Jesus who invites us to leave our problems and worries behind. “Come onto me, all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Jesus is our “problem tree” and longs to receive our burdens, problems and worries and speaks a lot about this in the Scriptures. And Jesus never fills up, never gets tired, never turns us down.
On the Cross, you see, all those burdens, worries, and problems died once and for all. We enter next week into the Holiest week of the church calendar. This Sunday is recognized in the church as Palm Sunday. This commemorates the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem for his last week of life. As he entered the city, the people tossed down palm branches for him to go across. Thursday, March 29, is Maundy Thursday. This is the night we celebrate Holy Communion and remember the night in which Jesus was betrayed. Maundy is Latin for “commandment” because Jesus washes the feet of the disciples and invites all of us to do the same thing and Jesus commands us to love one another. This is followed by Good Friday, which used to be called God’s Friday, because it represents the day Jesus died. Many churches have services of solemn readings and music and quietude. All of this is followed by the celebration of Easter, Sunday April 1, where Jesus rose from death to free us all from sin and to open the doors of Heaven for God’s people! If you do not have a church home, please go and worship at the church of your choice!!
Oh, I almost forgot. The end of the story. The farmer is telling the man about his problem tree and how it helps him. And, the farmer says to his friend, “When I go outside in the morning those problems and worries are never there. The problem bush is empty!
God bless you, Chaplain Doug Givan