November 27, 2019 | David F. Coppedge

Body Wonders to Be Thankful For

You may not have much money or fancy belongings, but you live in the greatest traveling home one could wish for.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in America. Before the Christmas frenzy begins, we should all pause and give thanks to our Creator. If you’re looking for some specific things to be thankful for, you can find plenty inside of you. Here are some recent examples.

The human foot is a highly complex apparatus composed of bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, skin and sensory organs.

Bone: If you can stand up without weighing a ton, thank God for making your bones out of a microarchitectural material that can repeatedly take a load and resist breaking—the envy of engineers in materials science. (PNAS)

Growth: If your cells can divide successfully, be glad that individual fibers in the kinetochore are able to dissipate force “to preserve robust spindle structure.” (bioRxiv)

Brain: Be glad if you have a working whole brain, but be reassured you could get by if you lost half of your brain from disease or accident, due to the brain’s remarkable “plasticity” and ability to rewire itself. (Live Science, Science Daily)

Nucleolus: Your cells keep a balance between two kinds of forces to hold the nucleolus in shape even without a membrane, to reduce the chance of getting cancer, reported scientists at New York University.

DNA readability: If your body is working, part of that is due to tiny filaments called actin that hold DNA in position so that it can be read and transcribed. (University of Frieburg)

Cilia: If you are not dying from polycystic kidney disease, primary ciliary dyskinesia and Bardet-Biedl syndrome, be glad your cilia are working correctly. These are “antennae” on your cells that communicate with the surroundings. (Phys.org).

Immune System: When disease strikes, the immune system is like a vast army with an array of powerful weapons to rapidly defend the body. It’s your “protection shield” with fail-safe technology. (Phys.org)

Enzymes: If you can operate much faster than a snail, thank God for your enzymes that can fold and unfold thousands of times a second, doing most of the work at the cellular level. The discovery that enzymes (and maybe all proteins) can conduct electricity is “electrifying science.” (Arizona State University)

Neurons: We can feel signals from our extremities almost instantly, thanks to neurons that can transmit signals over a meter in a fraction of a second, even though this requires a high degree of preparation within each neuron:

The intracellular transport system in neurons is specialized to an extraordinary degree, enabling the delivery of critical cargo to sites in axons or dendrites that are far removed from the cell center. Distance is not the only challenge. Localized delivery of presynaptic components provides another layer of complexity that must be successfully navigated to maintain synaptic transmission.

If the turkey, ham and mashed potatoes taste good, think of all that goes into getting those signals from tongue and nose to brain.

Is this enough for starters? You can read our back issues for much, much more. Look in the “Human Body” section and remember wonders like these:

Sleep: Your brain washes the wastes out during sleep (5 Nov 2019).

Credit: Corel Pro Photos

Nose: The nose has built-in gain control (28 December 2012).

Muscle: A built-in feedback system puts a bounce in your step (26 October 2015).

Skin: Your skin stays tight because a protein named cadherin that acts like Velcro (8 December 2007).

Spleen: This organ, long despised as vestigial by evolutionists, actually is a fortress with a standing army of immune cells at the ready (4 August 2009).

Memory: Your brain optimizes storage of memory much better than a computer can (18 October 2016).

We have HUNDREDS of articles like this. Don’t ever be caught hesitating about what to be thankful for! Thanksgiving is not just a nice attitude to have. It’s not good just because it gives us positive health benefits (Medical Xpress, The Conversation). It is a righteous duty toward our Maker that should spring out of awe at what He has designed. It should be our hourly response to every good thing we experience in the body: the final thought before sleep, and the first attitude upon awaking. We have no idea how blessed we are, even in sickness, but so often all we do is gripe when something goes wrong.

True gratitude is specific. Kids pray “Thank you for the whole wide world. Amen.” If the world’s greatest artist handed you a priceless masterpiece, would you just say “Thank you” and set it down? Heaven forbid. To really express your gratitude, you would take time to admire the details—the colors, the angles, the textures, and all the nuances. You would ask the artist about it, and study it. You would display it in the best place in the house, and shine perfect light on it. You would tell others about it, and admire it every day. This is how we should express our thanks to God – in the details.

Don’t be like the Israelites in the wilderness, constantly grumbling, who took for granted the miraculous feast of quail God sent in response to their craving for meat (Numbers 11). They wolfed it down as if they deserved it. Let our attitudes be different. This Thanksgiving, take the time to express detailed gratitude to God for these wonders listed above and thousands more like them. With each bite of good food from the feast, say “Thank you Lord!” for what makes it possible. Most importantly, give thanks and worship Him for the salvation He has provided us in Christ (Romans 5).

 

Editor’s Note: CEH will be off during the Thanksgiving weekend, and will return Monday Dec 2. If you get withdrawal symptoms, there are thousands of past articles you may have missed. Go searching till you get relief.

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