That beloved American holiday is upon us. It’s almost Thanksgiving. Today is considered the busiest travel day of the year for Americans as we herd ourselves around friends and family. So, whether you’re catching a connecting flight, waiting for TSA, sitting in a traffic jam, or on your way to grandma’s, here are a few brief thoughts to prime the pump for a day of giving thanks.
God does a lot for all of us. Numbers help define what “a lot” means. That’s why I like numbers. They help me visualize things. And in the case of giving thanks, they help put God’s kindness into perspective.
Here are a few numbers to help us.
By the time you hit 30 years old:
- You have taken about 252,000,000 breaths. That’s 252,000,000 times where your diaphragm and lungs did their thing. How many of those were you consciously and effortfully ensuring that you breathed? “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
- You have breathed about 26,500,000 gallons of God’s air. That’s the equivalent of the amount of air that could fill a building whose dimensions were 100 ft long, 100 ft wide, and 350 ft tall. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
- You have eaten roughly 50,000 lbs of God’s food (about the weight equivalent of 10-12 cars). You’ll add to that significantly on Thanksgiving. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
- You have drank about 4,500 gallons of his water. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
- Your eyes have processed about 1000 terra bytes of data from God’s world. That is the amount of data which would fit on about 200,000 DVDs. How often were you consciously and effortfully thinking, “Ok, eyes, be sure and process all this data!”? “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
- God has made your heart beat about one billion times. A billion. How many of those billion thumps were you consciously and effortfully thinking, “OK, body, make my heart beat! Again! Again! And while you do, make sure that my mitral, tricuspid, aortic, and pulmonary valves all open and close and do their thing!”? “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
- God has made your heart pump about 12,000,000 gallons of blood through your body. That’s 381,000 barrels of blood, pumped smoothly throughout your entire body. And, it takes the heart less than 60 seconds to pump blood to every single cell in your body. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
- God has sustained the roughly 37,000,000,000,000 cells in your body. That’s 37 trillion cells moseying around. What have we done to keep track of them, make sure they function, and go where they should? “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
- God has sustained the 100 billion neurons in your brain. Inside that melon-sized gray matter are 100 billion neurons firing away. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”
But above and beyond all of this, God has done something even more extraordinary. Motivated by his own glory, he has given his precious, righteous Son, Jesus Christ, to bear the wrath due our sin. God reckons every sin of his hell-deserving enemies to Christ. He reckons the righteousness of Christ to us, his enemies. And he does all this without a single work of moral muscle on our part, but simply by faith in Christ. By faith, we are cleansed from all sin, declared in forever right-standing with God, permanently reconciled to God, and guaranteed eternity in heaven.
Glory to God.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his steadfast love endures forever!” (Ps 107:1)