This particular farmer had recently been through many difficulties, including a death in the family and financial problems.
As they headed back to his home for dinner with his wife and children, the farmer stopped at the doorway and got quiet for a moment.
He reached out his hands and placed them on the bushes next to the front door.
When he finished, the pastor asked what he had been doing.
The farmer replied, "That's my 'problem tree,' and every night before I join my family, I lay my hands on that bush and put all of my problems there. Funny thing is, when I go out the next morning, those problems are never there!"
Today, as I came into St. Vincent's hospital, I laid my hands on the "problem bench," a small wooden bench outside the door.
I left my problems there and prayed that God would take them and when I go back out tonight, I am pretty sure they won't be there!
Do you have a "problem tree, or bench" where you can go to leave your problems?
I would suggest we think about Jesus as our place to go with our problems.
We have a promise in the Bible where the Lord says, "Come onto me, all you who hare heavily burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28).
We can lay down the heavy burdens of life and God will take those and turn them into blessings, if we can just let go.
So often, we hold on trying desperately to control our lives and our problems.
There is another story of a man on the roof of a home in a flood and he is praying to God for help.
A boat comes by and he declines saying that he is waiting for God.
A helicopter comes by and he again declines because he has prayed to God for help.
After he dies in that flood and goes to Heaven, he asks God why God did not answer his prayers.
And God said, "I sent a boat and a helicopter, but you refused!"
If we would just let go and turn from the closed door, we will see the open window God has for us.
Turn today from your problems and difficulties because you and I are not alone.
Our boat is on its way, and the helicopter is coming.
May God bless you with peace and comfort today and always.