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Math, Sickness, & the Fall


Math probably isn’t the first thing you’re thinking about when you don’t feel well. Yet you might be surprised at how much you may find yourself using math when facing an illness.

  • When Can I Take ____ Next? When can I take that next does of pain medicine/cough suppressant/allergy pill? That question is on our minds a lot when battling a disease. And we use math to figure it out! If we took medicine at 10 am and we can take a pill every 4 hours, then we next need to take it at 2 pm, as that is 4 hours later. Keeping track of time’s passing is an application of math—an application, by the way, that is based on the earth’s rotation that God set up. Our 24-hour clock ties with the pattern of night and day He created.
  • How Many Days Left? How many days till I feel better if the cold started 3 days ago and typically lasts 7 days? 7 – 3 = 4, so hopefully just 4. Till what day do I have to quarantine if I was told to quarantine for 10 days starting on the 11th? 10 + 11 = 21, so till the 21st.
  • How Much Should I Take? If I was told to drink 70% of my body weight in ounces per day and I weigh 120 pounds, how many ounces of water do I need to drink? 0.7 x 120 = 84, so 84 ounces each day. If the glasses I use hold about 10 ounces of water, how many glasses does that mean? Well 84 10 = 8.4, so 8 and almost a half of those glasses. Or say I was told to take 4,000 IUs (international units) of Vitamin D a day, and I found a liquid that contains 500 IUs in a drop. How many drops would I need to take? Well, 4,000  500 is 8, so 8 drops.

Note that we perform simple math all the time without thinking about it. And aren’t you glad that to figure out how many glasses of water equals 84 ounces you don’t have to actually measure out 84 ounces and pour it into 8 and a half glasses? Instead, you can use math to know that 84 divided 10 equals 8.4. You can only do that, though, because creation is consistent. Division operates consistently. Why? Because a faithful, consistent God is holding creation together. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and the other “fixed order” He created continue because He is a covenant-keeping God (Jeremiah 33:25-26 ESV). Now that’s a good thing to remember next time you’re sneezing your way through a cold.

Why did God create snot? I was recently asked that question by a little girl, and it’s a great one! Sickness wasn’t part of God’s original creation. There was no sickness or death until man sinned, rebelling against our Creator. Now we live in a fallen world. But praise God He designed our bodies to produce snot to help rid our bodies of bacteria and viruses. And praise Him that He sent Jesus to buy us back for Himself so that one day, if our faith is in Jesus, we’ll be in a world with no more sickness again.


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