Living in Alabama, I don’t get to enjoy snow as much as them there Yankees up yonder do. (Alabama enough for you?)
But I recently went on a trip with my church to Stone Mountain, Georgia to go tubing down a massive snow covered mountain. Sounds fun right?
It sure was! It was 54 degrees (perfect shorts weather) and I got to fly down a mountain of snow on a tube. All while looking at Stone Mountain, with its gorgeous engraving commemorating the Confederacy’s heroes: President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. It’s a truly awesome piece of history and art!
But back to the wonderful treat of snow!
Snow is a wonderful gift that gives joy to many people! Even those who receive it each year still find joy in building a snowman with their children or launching a snowball at a friend. I thank God for snow! But more than that, I thank God for water.
Water is a beautiful gift that is a requisite for life. That’s why we’re called to be like a tree planted by the water, bursting with life (Psalms 1:3 & Jeremiah 17:8). Water gives sustenance and is vital in many of our bodies’ internal processes.
“Yeah, we get it. Water is necessary for life, Josiah. You can’t go more than 3 days without it and all. I’ve heard it before.”
But what about water itself?
Big Whoop, It’s Water...
Water is pretty vanilla, right? It’s just water. It’s free at even the most expensive restaurants. We don’t think of water as much. Think of a watered down drink…Nasty right? There’s not much special about water. It’s pretty standard, because it’s so common.
To understand and truly appreciate the blessing of water we have to get a little sciency, but I assure you it’s not too heavy. Stick around and see how we can find God’s grace in water.
The Science of Water
Water is the standard used to give us many scientific units such as the gram, calorie, and Calorie. But water is quite peculiar…
Water is very interesting to chemists, it is unlike any other substance on Earth.
You see when another substance like gold changes from a liquid to a solid, it condenses. This makes the solid state of gold more dense than its liquid state.
So if you had a glass of liquified gold and dropped a solid gold nugget in it the nugget would sink because it’s more dense than the liquid.
But water isn’t just another substance. When water changes state from a liquid to a solid (also known as freezing) it expands, becoming less dense than liquid. This is why ice floats in a glass of water.The snow that I slid down was made up of thousands of ice crystals, which is why it’s so light and fluffy!
That’s neat, but so what?
Not only does this give a cool drink when you sip your water, but it has a serious implications for life on Earth. We associate ice with cold winters and dreary death, but ice actually saves aquatic life and allows Earth to flourish!
If ice was more dense than water, it would sink. This means a lake would freeze from the bottom up. That’s a big deal.
If the ice formed in lakes and other bodies of water sank to the bottom, ice would trap and kill the fish every winter.
It would be impossible for these fish to live past a winter, thus eradicating many species and upsetting the delicate balance of life.
But because it floats, we get a nice ice cap on top, preserving the habitat underwater and actually sustaining life underwater.
[Illustration by Sudheer Nath]
(We can also travel and ice skate on this cap, which is a nice bonus!)
I was listening in my Chemistry class and this smacked me like a train. God’s creation is woven so beautifully together it solves problems I would’ve never imagined in and of itself. I’m reminded of a verse in Colossians:
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16 ESV)
We can see our Creator’s grace and providence in every drop of water, every cube of ice and yes, every flake of snow.
I am now finding God in water everywhere, in every state.
So next time you see snow fall, or crunch some ice, think of God and His infinite grace.