God is in Your Nose

Do you know what nasal turbinates are? Like me, you’ve probably never heard of them unless you work in the medical field.

However, these structures in your nasal passages play big roles. According to verywellhealth.com, turbinates are “shell-shaped networks of bones, vessels, and tissue within the nasal passageways. These structures are responsible for warming, humidifying, and filtering the air we breathe.”


The turbinates’ action is actually fairly complex. Among other duties, they help us smell, drain our sinuses, determine our voice tone, and regulate the nasal cycle—which involves opening and shrinking the nasal passages every one to seven hours (for exact reasons that aren’t yet fully understood).

That covers a lot of territory. So, if it weren’t for your nasal turbinates, when you take an early morning jog on a brisk January morning, the chill air you breathe in would go straight to your lungs without being filtered or warmed at all. Your lungs wouldn’t like that and neither would you.


Thinking about all this makes me wonder…Wouldn’t it be a whole lot simpler if we didn’t have to rely on turbinates? I mean, why didn’t God—in His infinite wisdom—design our bodies without such a complex setup for air filtering and regulation? He has the capacity to do so, right?

I don’t know the answer this question, and I suspect you don’t either. However, I believe we can learn something about the nature of God from this discussion.

Yes, God can do whatever He wants. What He obviously wanted when He designed the human body with all of its intricacy was for it NOT to be a simple system. He chose for our bodies to depend on nasal turbinates, as well as a heart and an even more complex brain and nervous system.

What this means to me is that, when it comes to other aspects of our lives—our relationships, our careers, our other personal challenges—we shouldn’t expect quick and easy results.

Lasting change takes time. It almost never comes through a miracle and almost always comes through natural processes. I believe this is one of the things He was trying to teach us when he designed the human body.

That’s the way God works. He created us as complex human beings with wonderful, intricate bodies. The same is true in the rest of the natural, created world.

aaron-burden-361231-unsplashLook around at the trees of the forest, the myriad sea creatures, all the species of insects and other animals—all in rich and diverse ecosystems that maintain delicate balances.

That doesn’t mean God isn’t involved in the day-to-day. He knows all and is in charge of all:

“Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted” (Matt. 10:29-30).

There is nothing that happens on this earth that he doesn’t bypass His authority. We might not always like what happens to us, but we can rest assured that God is in ultimate control of everything.

I’ve learned that I often won’t understand the reasons why my life takes a certain course. I may not like that I have to trudge through mud and snow and gunk to get to the other side because I’d rather that God just pick me up and place me where He wants me. I know He has the power to do that and it’s frustrating to think He won’t do it.

But that’s where faith comes in. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

In the end, that’s all we can do.

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