I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
Nearly 3,000 years ago the psalmist, David, wrote, "I praise Thee because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous is Thy workmanship as my soul is well aware" (Psalm 139:14). But just how wonderfully made man really is has come to light only in the past century as science has began to unlock the secrets of the human body. The human body, according to medical science, contains 37 trillion cells that reproduce themselves every seven years. Each one of the 37 trillion cells performs 10,000 different chemical functions, according to the late Dr. Ralph Byron of the City of Hope Cancer Clinic, yet all of them just work together to produce a healthy body.
When you get tired, you cannot say, "All right, cell number 843,291, get to work. You are not pulling your share of the load." All of these cells are linked together by nerve cells tied into a brain containing 100 billion cells (give or take a few). I hesitate to say that these 100 billion nerve cells are tied into a computer‑like device called the human brain since the human brain is far superior to any computer ever created. The eminent neuroscientist Moshe Abeles of Bar-Ilan University in Israel says, "Our ability to understand all the details of even one brain is practically zero."
Your marvelous body is powered by a digestive system that contains acids strong enough to eat the varnish off a table, yet function adequately in the stomach and intestine. Apply those same acids to the backside of your hand and it would immediately burn it. But within the human body the acids break down the foods that you eat into fuel that is carried to your body through your bloodstream.
The blood is impelled by a powerful man-sized fist-shaped muscle known as a heart‑‑a complex device that beats more than 2.5 million times in an average life span. I had breakfast with a friend and Wes was sporting a new cast on his arm. Having taken a fall while walking the dog, Wes ended up with a broken arm. Adjusting to the new handicap, he reached for his mouth with his napkin only to discover that he was closer to his ear. What a way to learn to appreciate the dexterity of your hand, which performs some 58 different movements. And all of this we take for granted.
One more thing: What of the marvel of the human eye, that remarkable little lens that lets you see the flowers, trees, and sunshine as it filters through the clouds? In spite of the fact that some of us find it necessary to wear glasses to correct astigmatism, our eyes continue to let us perceive the world with a third dimension that lets us walk through the forest without hitting the trees. Glands lubricate the delicate tissues of the eye, allowing it to function year after year without burning out as do the light bulbs or the TV tubes that must be replaced periodically.
"Just happened," some say, speaking of the marvelous human body. It just happened about like an explosion in a print shop producing an unabridged dictionary of the English language. Why don't you, like David of old, pause, fill your lungs with clean air, and lift your head toward heaven, saying, "Thank you, Lord, for my health and for my body. Thank you, Father, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!" (Psalm 139:14).
Resource reading: Psalm 139