The Math Doesn’t Add Up


Math is orderly and predictable in how it describes complex circumstances. I like math! Math has always been relatively easy for me. This explains why I became an engineer, married an engineer, and have two sons who chose math-related careers (engineering and actuarial science.)

Only one math class tripped me up in college: differential equations. I still managed to pull off an “A,” but I worked harder than I ever had to in a math class. Now that I am older and long since removed from my college days, I keep coming across math that causes me to stumble. The issue is not the application of differential equations as I haven’t used it since that class! The heart of my problem is that the math doesn’t add up: plus one minus one does not equal zero. Zero implies neutrality. You are not in the black or in the red as the plusses and minuses even out.

The year that my brother-in-law died at 52 years old is the same year that the first great-grandchild was born. We still had the same number of people at family get-togethers, but everything had changed. Of course, there was the surplus of joy in having a little one around again. The many pictures of four generations together are evidence of the new life in our family.  However, there is also a void that the number zero does not encompass. It is a gap in our hearts and a missing smile in pictures of the new family memories we make.

I see the same math in the cancer ministry I lead. A survivor succumbs to cancer and I enroll another survivor just starting their cancer journey. Our numbers stay the same, but the math doesn’t do justice for the emotional fall-out. Math doesn’t capture the hurt that zero brings. We acutely feel the loss through a survivor’s death and the pain that gain brings when another person is diagnosed with cancer.

Those are the times that textbook math doesn’t add up for me. I am reminded that these moments are when my education really begins. God opens my eyes to His math based on His perfection. Zero doesn’t exist when I trust in the completeness of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. God fills voids with ever-increasing gains of the Holy Spirit inside of me. The negative is turned into a positive by God’s supernatural touch.

God’s math doesn’t have to make sense on paper for God prefers to permanently write it on our hearts. As we embrace His new math, God reveals wisdom and reassures with mercy. Finally, a math education that I can actually apply to my life!

Philippians 3:8

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

Galatians 5:6

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.





2 thoughts on “The Math Doesn’t Add Up

  1. Wow Maths and I have great problems agreeing Debbie, I have Dyslexia and although at school I did excel in other subjects Maths was very, very hard for me and I still can’t write fluently and yet I do with Blogging. Sometimes I copy from one of my a previous comments but when Jesus wants to Teach me something it just flows and the Scripture comes to my mind to confirm what He shares with me, although I’m still a cracked vessel and make spelling and punctuation mistakes or I write backwards but Firefox has helped with these but yes God is the Superglue who puts it all together.

    I had suspected Breast Cancer Debbie but it l disappeared as did some of my other life threatening or very limiting conditions that I have had over the years and to the Doctors my recovery did not add up to what was expected or showed by the tests, even last year the damage to my heart disappeared which they still can’t gell with their blood and other extensive tests results.

    As I shared Ron now has Prostrate Cancer but terminal illness does not have to mean a death sentence which mine has shown more than once not to be but only God knows Ron’s or anybody else’s Eternal Destiny, including when they will die, I hold onto the reality that God is the God of the impossible and His Maths is greater than Mans.

    “Christ”ian Love Always – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t explain God’s math, but I do believe in His math. You are a walking, talking, and breathing miracle of God’s power, love, mercy, and healing! We know that our complete healing only comes in heaven. But oh how sweet, when we experience healing here on earth. Continued prayers for you and Ron!

      Liked by 1 person

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