God has given mankind an innumerable amount of gifts, the greatest of which was His Son who died for our salvation. But there are so many things which we rarely consider. The Psalmist, David sized up some of it with this oft quoted remark:
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (Psalm 139:14 NKJV)
But as beautiful an reverent as it is, there is so very much that is not explained about it. Our subject concerns the human immune system, and it is indeed marvelous, but it is also only one of myriad features of the life of a human which is beyond understanding. There are such things as the eyes and how they can pick up light reflections and convert them into visions in our mind of the precise object. An amazing subject. Our automatic cooling and heating reactions and many more are utterly unbelievable in their built-in factors which help keep us alive and even comfortable.
The immune system is one of the most important features for saving us from death on many unrealized occasions. Without the immune system, no one can live. Occasionally a child is born with a condition called Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome (SCIDS). These children cannot fight off any of numerous diseases, so they are doomed to die very soon. One case of this which goes down in history is that of little David Vetter, otherwise known as the “Bubble Boy”. Doctors and scientists made an effort to keep this child alive in order to do tests and try and discover some cure for the situation. Tragically, they were never able to do so and the case became virtually uncontrollable as the boy grew older inside the sterile bubble. You may read an article concerning this case by clicking here: David Vetter.
Back to our subject, the immune system, when in good condition and as it was intended to be saves us from illness and even death, time after time and we are not even aware of it. It is comprised of organs and specialized cells which comprise the “Lymphatic system”. This system is our defense against numerous viruses and bacteria which find their way into our blood streams. Those cells produced and tuned for their specific job, attack and destroy most of the foreign cells which endanger us. Normally, when only a few cells have found their way into our system, these soldiers soon destroy them and they are expelled from the blood stream.
The cells of the immune system have some very exotic names and are lumped into two general groups called lymphocytes and eater cells. The eater cells make up the general defenses and include macrophages, granuloctyes and moncytes which come directly from the bone marrow along with all other blood cells, as these are part of what we call our “white blood cells.” These are involved in attacking very general types of invaders and substances getting into our body and then also dealing with all old dead and used-up materials in our body. (Our Immune System: David Everson)
The next type of cell, the lymphocytes, also come for the bone marrow but then go to the organ called the thymus for special modifications and training. Here they are changed into B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes, killer cells, helper cells, plasma cells and suppressor cells. These make up the special defense system and are part of what is called our “memory” of diseases. These cells are designed to produce customized “bullets” called “antibodies” that can then kill the invader. Once we have made these special “bullets,” they are with us for life. This is what keeps us from getting the same disease twice, generally. We have immunity against that bug, because we are ready for it when it invades again. Some of our defenses we get from our mothers when developing in the womb or by breast milk. Other immunity we must get by actually getting the disease and making a defense against it. This is what happens when we get sick with a cold or the flu. The organism gets in, causing us to get sick while we make the antibodies to get rid of it. We then are ready the second time that bug gets in. (Ibid)
Of course, the system is not omnipotent and can be overrun by some, which requires strong drugs to control and in some cases, nothing can control them and therefore we die. But the system is a tireless guard which subdues numerous small invasions completely unnoticed.
This writer recently had a bout with pneumonia and was hospitalized for a short period. When I asked to be released, the physician was very hesitant due to the fact that my lymphocyte count was over three times normal, which indicated that my lymphatic system was still working hard to destroy the viral cells. Fortunately, they dropped rapidly in the next 24 hours and I was released.