God's Incredible Pump

The heart has fascinated man from his earliest days on this planet. Our songs and poetry use the heart in beautiful and painful ways. Primitive violent cultures have viewed the human heart as something special and even included it in horrific ways in their pagan worship. The fact is that, as man has developed technologically and scientifically, the heart has not been diminished but exalted in our appreciation of its incredible abilities and the design features that it demonstrates.

The heart pumps approximately 2,000 gallons of blood every day--a total weight load of 18,650 pounds (or some nine tons). To do this, the heart beats nearly 100,000 times a day (or 36,000,000 times a year). A 50-year-old adult's heart will have beaten 1,825,000,000 times. The heart is connected to some 60,000 miles of blood vessels in an adult's body and will participate in moving 438 cubic feet of air through the lungs. The heart never rests and varies its speed by a factor of three upon demand. The fluid the heart moves is fragile, and yet the heart does no damage to it in spite of the high pressures and rapid changes of direction the fluid takes. As mankind has tried to design and build an artificial heart, he has found the task to be one of the more difficult technical projects ever encountered. Not only is there the problem of building a machine that will not wear out, but serious problems have been encountered as blood clots form and changes occur in blood components.

On top of all of the mechanical things the heart does, the heart has the amazing capacity to react to changes in the environment and in conditions. People who live in an environment that demands higher volumes of blood to be moved have hearts that grow larger. When damage happens to the heart, it will move to repair the damage by generating new tissue or building blood vessels to bypass the problem. The more you learn of the heart, the more you appreciate David's praise of God in Psalm 139:14 when he says, "I will praise thee Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that my soul knoweth right well."

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