"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". The book of Genesis spans approximately 4000 years of human history. It is arguably the most significant book in the old testament, which has been described as the ‘new testament concealed’. As its counterpart, the new testament is also described as the ‘old testament revealed’.
The first chapter of Genesis describes God’s creation with significant details. One of the most notable is God’s activity on the sixth day involving the creation of man. In verse 26 we discover one of the most universally important facts in all of history, that He created us in His image, and in His likeness.
All living things have similarities and differences. One thing that makes humans different than a plant or an animal is that God breathed His breath, his Spirit, His life into us. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. (Genesis 2:7) This makes the human race special compared to all other creation. We have the breath of God in us, and we bear His image and likeness. What an amazing concept!
God also originally created our body to work in perfect balance. But He also knew ahead of time that man would endure physical hardship from the elements in the world around us, and that we also would not properly care for and maintain our physical nature by choice, and therefore could not maintain the physical perfection originally intended for man. In His complete wisdom, God designed our body with methods of compensation to maintain what is known in the human biology world as ‘homeostasis’.
These methods of compensation are too numerous to mention them all, but are all ingenious and amazing systems of the human body. For instance, your body needs calcium for many of its most vital functions, including the communication between cells that makes life possible. However, if we choose a diet that is low in calcium or body is designed to automatically begin to look for the needed calcium elsewhere, and inevitably begins to pull it from our bones. Great method to stay alive, not so good if you don’t like osteoporosis. Another amazing ability our bodies posses is the growth of vessels. If a blood vessel is blocked with a clot, somehow we are designed with a plan B code that starts to generate new vessels near the blocked one that can bring vascularization to the tissues below the blockage. It is always amazing when we hear experts explain that our bodies “know” to do this. How does tissue with no brain “know” anything? It can’t. It can only be programmed to operate a certain way under certain conditions, and we all know who the programmer is.
Think a minute about how these body systems operate. The simplest form of matter is an atom. Atoms create bonds and then create molecules by sharing or creating electrons. Incidentally, these molecules are what reveal that we are “from the dust of the ground”. The earth is composed of minerals. Humans are also composed of these minerals in similar ratios.
The 8 most common elements in Earth’s crust (by mass): 46.6% Oxygen (O) 27.7% Silicon (Si) 8.1% Aluminum (Al) 5.0% Iron (Fe) 3.6% Calcium (Ca) 2.8% Sodium (Na) 2.6% Potassium (K) 2.1% Magnesium (Mg)
Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogyen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodum, chlorine, and magnesium.
Indeed, we are created from the dust of the ground.
These molecules join together to form all of the complex systems inside each individual cell that make the cell work and do its job in the body. All living things on earth from the tallest tree to the tiniest creatures are made up of microscopic cells. Cells are the building blocks of life. There are many cells each with different jobs.
What makes up a cell? Each cell has a cell membrane that is a thin, flexible layer separating the inside and outside of cell, allowing “food” to enter and waste to be removed from it. Inside the cell are organelles held in a gel called cytoplasm made up of 80% water. Near the center is the nucleus, which is the control center of the cell. It acts like the brain of the cell, and contains DNA, which determines what kind of cell it will be.
There is also a vacuole in the cell that acts as a storage tank to hold water or other materials, while the mitochondria around the nucleus act as the power house of cell. These take the so-called food and turn it into energy for the rest of the cell. This results in cellular respiration.
There are many other complex and amazing parts of cells. Ribosomes are like tiny factories making proteins to build, repair, and direct necessary chemical reactions. Endoplasmic reticulum acts as a cellular highway transportation network, taking molecules where they need to go, and taking proteins made by the ribosomes to the golgi apparatus, which in turn takes molecules that need to be transported to be inspected for damage, then transports them to where they need to go.
Humans contains around 40 trillion cells. Cells, like all living things, live and die. A red blood cells life cycle is 120 days. Without cells there would be no life. What happens when cells don't function as they were created? Compensation. Free radicals steal things from healthier cells, and this causes stress on tissues that are parts of body systems, which in turn cause other body systems to react and become affected.
Think about it, Atoms form molecules, which form cells that somehow “know” how to be smart enough to assemble themselves to form appropriate tissues. These tissues form themselves into organs, and these organs create incredibly sophisticated body systems that react and compensate in miraculous ways to all kinds of outside stressors that get thrown at them either by our physical environment, or our own lousy choices.
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.( Eph 4:16)
When it comes to health, our wisest course of action is to treat our bodies in ways that support and maintain their intended operational methods. Second to this is knowing how to strengthen and support the mechanisms already designed into your body’s functional program that protect it and correct it when it is under attack, bringing it back to natural function and homeostasis.
God told us this plainly when He said: “From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.” Ephesians 4:16
Need help getting your body functioning at an optimal level? I'd love to help!
(Drawing courtesy of Tom KraMer's (husband) high school art class.)