Curly. Wavy. Straight.
Black. Brown. Blonde. Red. Grey. White.
In the sink. On the pillow. In a comb. On your head.
Hair dominates the human landscape. Each person is born with approximately 100,000 hair follicles. Each follicle can produce up to 20 strands of hair in its lifetime. With so much hair to spare, it is no wonder we become engrossed with it.
Our obsession with hair is manifested in the endless aisles of shampoo, conditioners, treatments, dyes, sprays, curling irons, straightening irons, blow dryers, and other hair products. We spend too many waking hours combing, washing, drying, cutting, and admiring our hair than we would dare to admit, even to ourselves.
Hair also appears to be a topic of interest in the Bible. Hair is mentioned over 100 times in the New and Old Testaments. Who can forget the story of Samson’s mighty mane (Judges 13-15)? King Solomon was captivated by the tresses of his beloved (Song 7:5). Mary wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair, after pouring fragrant nard on them (John 12:3). Hair gives glory to those who possesses it (Proverbs 16:31, 20:29; 1 Corinthians 11:15).
Oddly enough, God also seems to be obsessed with our hair. His concern is not focused only on our lovely locks as a whole, but also centered on the importance of a single strand.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Luke 12:6-7; Matthew 10:29-31)
Most people shed between 50 and 100 hairs daily. We may barely register when we lose ten or fifteen strands, let alone one or two. Yet, God has counted them one by one. 1, 2, 3…99,998, 99,997, 100,000. A complete set. Like a collector contently reviewing the number of items that make up His valuable collection, God numbers the hairs upon our head.
Not only does He count them, He also protects them.
But not a hair of your head will perish.
When Daniel’s three friends were thrown into a burning furnace, they became prime examples of God’s care for hair.
Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
The secret behind the calculation of strands is not God’s obsession with our hair, but His immense, immeasurable love for us. If the almighty Master and Creator of the universe cares about one of the most easily overlooked components of our body, just imagine how much He must care for our whole being!
When we are tired, lonely, lost, frustrated, despondent, let us consider our hair. Let us remember that God’s love is enough to cover a single strand, and more than enough to help us move forward and upward.
1. Think back to a time when your faith was at its lowest. Was there any relation to your experience (or lack thereof) of God’s love?
2. What are some projects or activities you have taken up (or would like to take up) after being motivated and fueled by an experience of God’s love?
3. Look around you. Find at least one thing that demonstrates God’s love for you today.