I just spent an hour moving snow. Blowing out the driveway, digging out the mailbox, and leaving early to get to any appointment is ordinary for us during the Michigan winter months. People moan and complain about it, yet snow is a blessing from God.
Most of us know about igloos used by people in the far north to shield themselves from super cold conditions. Snow is an excellent insulator, preserving plants and small animals during the cold winter months. I am always concerned when we don’t have snow during the very cold days because my roses suffer. Small animals also are very active beneath the snow. Not only does the snow protect them from the cold, but also from predators.
Snow is a blessing from God. In Job 38:22, God refers to the storehouse of the snow. In many areas of the world, mountain snow stores water that melts in the spring and summer, supplying a constant water supply to arid and semi-arid locations. When additional layers compact the snow, it behaves as a fluid and actually flows. We call that a glacier and glacial ice can store massive quantities of water. One of the concerns about climate change is that if the glacial ice melts, the sea level will rise, threatening populations worldwide.
Snow exists only because of the unusual properties of the water molecule. The water molecule is polar instead of being linear (H – O – H), as you might expect. Both hydrogen atoms are on one side of the water molecule, with the oxygen atom on the other side. (We have discussed the polar nature of the water molecule previously on this website.) When the temperature is low enough, one molecule will attach itself to another, and because of water’s unique molecular structure, they form a lattice at many different angles.
If you haven’t looked carefully at snowflakes, please do so. Snowflakes are all hexagonal with six sides, but they are all different with unusual spacing that gives them a lower density than water. For this same reason, ice is less dense than water, and it forms on the surface of a lake and does not sink to the bottom. Usually, solid forms of materials are more dense than their liquid forms, but that is not the case with water. Otherwise, a lake would freeze solid and kill all the fish and other creatures living there.
This design of water is a testimony to God’s wisdom that we see in every corner of His creation. In Job 38:29-30, God reminds Job of His design of snow and ice by saying, “From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from heaven when the waters become hard as stone when the surface of the deep is frozen?” We have learned much about the design of water since Job’s day, but the message of creation to us is the same as it was to Job. Snow is a blessing from God.
— John N. Clayton © 2022