A never-ending war is underway, and you are at the very center of the battle. In fact, it is taking place beneath your own skin.
Microscopic pathogens—such as deadly bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites—may be so small they cannot be seen, but they are everywhere. And what stands between you and these threats, to keep you alive and healthy? One of the great marvels of God’s design: the human immune system.
A short article such as this could never convey the wondrous whole of our immune system in all its glory, and it would be a complicated tale to tell. However, even a passing glance can serve to remind us that we are, indeed, “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Let’s take that glance.
There are virtual miracles that surround us in God’s created world—wonders we take for granted too easily. In the life cycles of even the lowliest of creatures, the One who is their Creator and ours has placed lessons and examples for us to consider.
It is easy to think of the well-known transformation of caterpillar to butterfly and fail to consider the everyday miracle it represents. It is truly one of the great wonders of the living world.
Let’s take some time to muse on the caterpillar and the butterfly, nature’s masters of metamorphosis, and then let’s consider just one important lesson it represents for us.
Studies show younger generations increasingly consider the elderly to be a “burden on society.” Is that true? What does God’s word reveal?
Most people accept average life expectancy as a general gauge of a country’s overall health. In most parts of the ancient world, life was short—especially in cities. Average life expectancy in the Roman Empire was around 25 years. Flash forward to the 20th century, where improvements in sanitation, medicine, and nutrition increased average life expectancy to 50 years in many developed nations—like Canada. By 2011, that number had reached 81 (“Life Expectancy,” conferenceboard.ca).
Today in Canada, the number of people 65 years old and over exceeds those 14 years old and younger. According to the National Post, “StatCan said the latest figures were driven by a trend that took root in 2011 and has continued to accelerate—the aging of the baby boomers… Baby boomers now account for 30 per cent of the senior demographic, the agency said” (McQuigge, Michelle, “Canadian seniors outnumber children for the first time in recorded history, StatsCan says,” NationalPost.com, September 29, 2015).
The ever-growing baby boomer population strains Canada’s pension support system. The eligibility age for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is 65 years, just a year younger than the average lifespan in Canada when the plan was first introduced. Since then, the average lifespan has increased by almost 20 years.
One of the leading causes of death among teenagers is suicide. The Centers for Disease Control reports that it is the third-leading cause of death in the United States for young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Only accidents and homicides account for more deaths for this age group. Even more alarming is the fact that suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death for children between 10 and 14 years old, according to teensuicidestastics.com.
Several factors may influence a teenager’s decision to take his or her life, including parental divorce, substance abuse, feelings of worthlessness, rejection by friends or peers, violence in the home, inability to find success at school, and—most commonly—depression. Many young people feel as though they are trapped in a life that they cannot handle and feel hopeless and anxious. Sadly, in some cases, young people feel that suicide is the only way to escape from these problems.
Although life can certainly be challenging, and you may find yourself in one of the situations mentioned above, suicide is not the answer.