What Happens When We Eat? Part 2

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
"Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about." Job 10:8
Job knew that everything about him was ordered by a divine Creator and that the workings of his body didn't "just happen."
In the last article we considered that our bodies need a continual supply of food and how the body prepares this food for its use, first of all, by the chewing process. Now, after the food is properly chewed and moistened in the mouth, it is swallowed into the throat. Once it reaches that point the eater has no more control over it, for everything then takes place automatically. The long tube between the mouth and stomach is known as the esophagus, where muscles push the food along to the stomach. Food remains in the stomach for three or four hours for further processing.
At this point we meet another miraculous structure that God has designed within us. The membrane of the stomach has about 35 million little glands that work together, making gastric juice, which, with enzymes and helpful bacteria, break down proteins and carbohydrates and manufacture all kinds of vitamins from the food. You didn't know you had a vitamin factory inside you, did you?
Eventually, all that reaches the stomach becomes fluid (with very few exceptions), and when this has taken place this organ has served its purpose. The liquified food is then automatically passed along into the next stage of the digestive process which takes place in the small intestine. The result of the empty stomach is that hunger is experienced and the appetite for more food is renewed. Mankind, in general, has taught himself to eat usually just three times daily, but most other living creatures must eat almost all their waking hours in order to satisfy the needs of their bodies. The kidneys, liver and other organs, which are eventually nourished by the food we eat, have very interesting functions, but we will not examine them today.
The way in which food must stop in various parts of the body for processing reminds us that God's holy Bible should be read with care. Through the Holy Spirit we will grow as the living Word is digested. The Apostle Paul spoke of this when he wrote of being "nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Tim. 4:6).
Never hurry when you read the Word of God. It is better to read a few verses and "hear what God the Lord will speak" than to read more than you can take in at one time. Good advice for everybody is found in the scripture: "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them" (1 Tim. 4:15). May our prayer be, "Feed me with food convenient for me" (Prov. 30:8).
(to be continued)