Water, we really can't live without it. It shapes our planet in so many ways. The month of January is synonymous with winter. I think everyone enjoys the beauty of this season in pictures, but experiencing the cold that goes with it, not so much. Of course, we couldn't have winter without the cold temperatures. Water turns into snow or ice when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Snow is beautiful! When it settles on the landscape it transforms a brown boring hillside into a pretty picture or a great place for sledding. Snowflakes in and of themselves are great works of art, and as far as we know, there are no two snowflakes that are identical. Ice is also a big part of winter. We think about it most often when we drive on icy roads. But ice forms in many other places as well. While growing up in Minnesota I went ice fishing. In the north we drive on the lakes to get to a good ice fishing spot. The ice gets thick - thick enough to support the weight of a truck.
The primary reason we experience the beauty of winter is because of water. Without water we would have neither snow nor ice. There is also a "wonderful" side of water that doesn't get much attention. Water is one of the few liquids that expands and becomes less dense when frozen. This is the reason that ice floats. This unique aspect of water is really important during the cold winter months of the year. If ice forming on rivers and lakes became more dense and continually sank to the bottom, all aquatic plant and animal life would eventually die. The oceans and seas would eventually succumb to the same fate.
Because ice and snow are white and reflect sunlight, much solar radiation in the polar regions is reflected off the great masses of sea ice back into the atmosphere. This helps control the Earth's temperature and regulate climates. A significant reason that our Earth sustains life is because of how God designed water. So the next time you drink a glass of ice water, remember that floating ice has far more importance than just cooling our drinks. Water, snow, and ice reminds us of the wisdom and sustaining power of God. Almost 3000 years ago the prophet Isaiah penned these words:
For this is what the LORD says --
the Creator of the heavens,
the God who formed the earth and made it,
the one who established it
(he did not create it to be a wasteland,
but formed it to be inhabited) . . . .