Our Eyes: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
January 1, 2011
Do you realize that without our eyes you would not be reading this now? Without our eyes you would be unable to see any of God's creation. Psalms 19:1 says:
The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.
God shows Himself to us, in part, by what we see.
Your eyes work all the time they are open. It may seem automatic to you and I, but there is a lot that goes on in your eyes that you would miss if you lost them. They take in lots of information - shapes, colors, movements, and more. Then they send the information to your brain, so the brain knows what's going on outside of your body.
The eyelid protects the eye without you thinking about it. When you step into bright light, the eyelids squeeze together tightly to protect your eyes until they can adjust to the light. And if you move your fingers close (but not too close!) to your friend's eyes, they will blink. Your friend's eyelids shut automatically to protect the eye from possible danger. Also don't forget eyelashes. They work with the eyelids to keep dirt and other unwanted stuff out of your eyes.
The white part of the eyeball is called the sclera (say: sklair-uh). The sclera is made of a tough material and has the important job of covering most of the eyeball.
Think of the sclera as your eyeball's outer coat. Look very closely at the white of the eye, and you'll see lines that look like tiny pink threads. These are blood vessels, the tiny tubes that deliver blood, to the sclera.
The pupil is the black circle in the center of the iris, which is really an opening in the iris, and it lets light enter the eye. To see how this works, use a small flashlight to see how your eyes or a friend's eyes respond to changes in brightness. The pupils will get smaller when the light shines near them and they'll open wider when the light is gone.
These next parts are really cool, but you can't see them with your own eyes! Doctors use special microscopes to look at these inner parts of the eye, such as the lens. After light enters the pupil, it hits the lens. The lens sits behind the iris and is clear and colorless. The lens' job is to focus light rays on the back of the eyeball - a part called the retina (say: ret-i-nuh).
The retina uses special cells called rods and cones to process light. Just how many rods and cones does your retina have?
Answer: We each have about 120 million rods and 7 million cones - in each eye!
Rods see in black, white and shades of gray; they tell us the form or shape that something has. Rods can't tell the difference between colors, but they are super-sensitive, allowing us to see when it's very dark.
Cones, on the other hand, sense color and they need more light than rods to work well. Cones are most helpful in normal or bright light. The retina has three types of cones. Each cone type is sensitive to one of three different colors - red, green, or blue - to help you see different ranges of color.
Rods and cones process the light to give you the total picture. You're able to see that your friend has a black coat and is wearing a straw hat while he leads a brown horse.
Think of the optic nerve as the great messenger in the back of your eye. The rods and cones of the retina change the colors and shapes you see into millions of nerve messages. Then, the optic nerve carries those messages from the eye to the brain! The optic nerve serves as a high-speed telephone line connecting the eye to the brain. When you see an image, your eye "telephones" your brain with a report on what you are seeing so the brain can translate that report into "cat," "apple," or "bicycle," or whatever it is you see.
The eye has its own special bathing system - tears! Above the outer corner of each eye are glands, which make tears. Every time you blink your eye, a tiny bit of tear fluid comes out of your upper eyelid. It helps wash away germs, dust, or other particles that don't belong in your eye.
Tears also keep your eye from drying out. You can see the opening of your tear duct if you very gently pull down the inside corner of your eye. When you see a tiny little hole, you've found the tear duct.
What a great God we have! He has taken so much care in making just one part of us to work perfectly and meet our needs. If He cares this much about our body (and He does!), how much more does he care about our soul?
In 2 Peter 3:9 we read:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The same God who took much time in creating us, wants us to know Him better so that we may spend eternity together.
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