Monkey puzzle tree

Day 222 Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise

The branches of these monkey puzzle trees always fascinate me.

www.kew.org about the monkey puzzle

The monkey puzzle or Chile pine (Araucaria araucana) is an evergreen conifer native to Argentina and Chile. It was discovered in about 1780 by a Spanish explorer and introduced to England by Archibald Menzies in 1795. Menzies was a plant collector and naval surgeon on Captain George Vancouver’s circumnavigation of the globe, travelling in Captain James Cook’s old ship, HMS Discovery. He was served the seeds of this conifer as dessert while dining with the governor of Chile and later sowed them in a frame on the quarter deck, returning home to England with five healthy plants. One of these monkey puzzles could be seen at Kew until it died in 1892.

The common name alludes to the fact that the task of climbing the tree, with its sharp branches tightly clothed with spiny leaves, would puzzle even a monkey.

I must admit, I have been staring at the laptop for a while and not knowing what to write. I think I must have been confused by all the things I did and trying to think about all the events.

 

I was in McDonalds earlier after buying a climbing harness for Matthew and there were tables laid out for the children with electronic tablets on them. There was a family there all staring at these tablets. If McDonald’s wants mindless zombies then that is surely the way to do it.

Myself and Matthew opted to find a clear table and just chat. What a novelty!

We spent two and a half hours in the afternoon climbing – ouch my hands are sore, not to mention pore Matthews who doesn’t seem bothered. Is this where the son starts to take over from the dad (at six!)?

It certainly is a wonderful way to bond two people together, my son has had to learn to trust me when he was climbing. He trusts me anyway but perhaps there is more need for more of these bonding activities now-a-days, in an age where computer games seem to rule and distractions abound. Technology can dazzle and confuse us perhaps like a monkey might sit staring at the monkey puzzle tree.

Matthew climbing
Matthew climbing

There are two people that jump out that trusted their dads to extreme.

Isaac and Jesus. 

There are many similarities between Isaac and Jesus and here is a quick list for you to reflect on;

  • Isaac and Jesus were “only, beloved” sons of a righteous father; Ishmael had been sent away in Genesis 21:14 [Genesis 22:2].
  • Both Isaac and Jesus are identified as the “son of Abraham” [see Genesis 21:3; 22:2; Matthew 1:1].
  • Both were offered in sacrifice [Genesis 22:2; John 1:29; Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:33; John 11:5019:17-18].
  • Both sons carried the wood for their own sacrifice [Genesis 22:6; John 19:17]
  • Both were “bound” and placed on top of the wood [Genesis 22:9; John 19:18-19; Philippians 2:8].
  • Both willingly allow themselves to be offered in sacrifice [Genesis 22:7-8; Colossians 2:6-8].
  • Both sons were “resurrected” or “given back”.

But what I find startling is the amount of trust both Isaac and Jesus had for their father. Jesus was willingly putting himself through enormous pain, death and separation from his father for us here on this planet. We are tiny and seemingly insignificant compared to God but He did that. Why would God do that?

The only reason I can come up with is if He truly does love us with all his heart, and He also sees beyond what we can see. God is all knowing. Perhaps with God’s Holy Spirit within us, He actually feels part of humanity? But there are some evenings I am just left puzzled and confused about why God saved me. He obviously knows something I don’t, and with that assurance – Like the assurance to the sinner on the cross;

Luke 23:43

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Dear Lord, thank you for all your blessings and I pray for all the children and people who put trust in us in what ever we do. He us all to work to our last drop of energy for you. Let us not panic and let stress eat us when we are faced with hardship, or others are, but let us pray and ask for your strength to carry on.

In Jesus name

Amen

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