Church of God, Carmichael, CA
C. W. Naylor, 1930
[Original Page Numbers]
DESTROYING THE WORRY TREE
The vigor and tenacity of life in a tree is determined largely by the soil in which it grows. I lived for many years in a State where the soil is fertile, the ground level, and where beech trees were very numerous. I had occasion to girdle many of them and observed that they were very easily killed. Previously to this time I had lived in another State where the soil is clay and the country very hilly. Here the beech trees were very hard to kill.
I remember a neighbor's killing a tree that stood by the roadside. He not only girdled it, but the boys climbed the tree and cut off the branches a little distance from the trunk. These were then piled around the tree and burned. I wondered why they were taking such radical steps to kill the tree. The next spring I learned their reason. In spite of all of this treatment the stubs of the branches that had been cut off threw DUt new branches and leafed out. The roots sprouted up and with all their labor they had not accomplished their purpose. The difference was not in the climate; it must have been in the soil.
We have already pointed out that the "worry tree" grows in the soil of doubt. We can hold an attitude ;hat is favorable to worry, fear, and other things that have unpleasant consequences. On the other hand we  can hold an attitude of faith that is altogether unfavorable toward these things. In order to destroy the "worry tree" we should change the soil about its roots. We cannot uproot it and destroy it by an act of our will.. We can take away its favorable oil. We can develop faith. We can believe in God and in ourselves. We can turn our eyes away from our worries and our troubles and look upon God. We can cease to fertilize the "worry tree." We can cease to rob ourselves of our heritage of victory willed to us by our heavenly Father.
We can have that rest of soul God has promised us. We can find it only in him. But as long as we permit all our time to be occupied with giving attention to our worries we shall have no time to give to the cultivation of those other things that God would freely develop in us that would give us happiness and contentment. We so often cultivate doubts instead of cultivating faith. It is important that we learn how we are doing this, and then adopt a different course. We can all have faith if we will go about it right, and faith is the victory that overcometh all of our troubles.
One of the best ways to get rid of worries is to ignore the doubts upon which they are founded. Troubles let alone have a way of curing themselves. As long as we fill our brain with worry we increase our trouble. The less we think about our troubles the smaller they become. The more we think about them the more rapidly they grow, and the less capable we are of overcoming them, or meeting them successfully.
The surest way to get rid of the "worry tree" is to  cut it down with the ax of faith. There is no worry or fear in trust. If I repeat this thought over and over, it may sink deep into your heart and mind and that is what you need. When you worry you do not trust. When you trust you do not worry. You cannot do both these at one time.
Permit me to suggest a way to develop your faith. Take your Bible and some paper. Write out a list of promises, promises that meet your need. Read these promises over every day. Read them until they become real to you. Whenever you catch yourself worrying or fearing, get those promises and read them. Say after you read each one, "This is true, and it means me." Say this over and over until you come to believe it. Perhaps at first your words will mock you. Perhaps the promises will seem to mock you. I have had the experience. I know how it feels. I know too from personal experience that one can keep right at it, reading these promises, asserting that they are true, asserting that they mean us, until in our own consciousness they do come to mean us. They come to soothe and comfort us. They neutralize our fears. Little by little we come to trust in them, and as we trust we cease to worry. Our fears grow less. We come into a restful attitude. There is a sure cure for all of our worries if we take it. That cure is an attitude of simple trust in God and his promises.
Worry is a mental habit. Children do not worry, or if they do, it is only momentarily. There is a natural flexibility to the human mind that throws off worry, until we rob it of its flexibility by cultivating the habit  of worrying. Any habit can be broken, so the worry habit can be broken. If you are troubled with worry, start in to break yourself of it just as you would break yourself of any other improper or hurtful habit. Worrying is an extremely hurtful habit. It is an abnormal mental state possible of correction and we owe it to ourselves to correct it.
We cannot help thoughts coming into our minds, but it is within our power to direct our thoughts. We can repress some of our thoughts. We can compel ourselves to quit thinking along some lines. It is usually easier to supplant improper thoughts with other brighter, more cheerful thoughts. From a long experience of suffering, confined to my bed, with nothing to do, being in fact unable to do anything, and having gone to the depths of discouragement, after facing black despair for months I learned the lesson of supplanting these with better thoughts. I found that I must keep my thoughts off myself; so I deliberately turned my thoughts into other channels. Of course the old gloomy thoughts reasserted themselves, but as often as they came back I supplanted them with something else, and finally broke myself completely of the habit of worrying and of thinking depressing thoughts.
One thing very needful is the will not to worry. The power of suggestion has a profound effect upon us. Our thoughts have this power of suggestion. We can suggest negative things to our mind, or we can suggest positive things. We can suggest discouraging things, or we can suggest encouraging things. We can make our minds run in the channel in which we choose for 
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Carmichael, California USA
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