Ice is a critical blessing that we often take for granted. You probably even get angry with it if you live in a place where ice on the ground or roadway can be a threat to your travel safety. Ice is a very useful and vital item in the design of planet Earth. Ice stores water and allows some of our major rivers to exist. The Ganges, Indus, Hwang, Ho, and Yangtze rivers, plus all the Canadian rivers feeding Lake Winnipeg get their water from ice stored in winter and melted in the spring and summer. Some 80 cubic kilometers of meltwater feeds the rivers of Europe and the Middle East. Most of California gets its water in the same way. In Job 38:22 (NIV) God challenges Job with, “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow?” Stored snow is one of the tools God has used to provide for humans on a planet where shortages of water can be catastrophic.
In addition to storing water, ice molds and shapes the surface of the earth and produces soil for agriculture. The odd shape of the water molecule, which is V-shaped, means that when water freezes it will expand in volume instead of contracting as you would expect. When ice forms, the geometry of the water molecule locks in the molecules so that the hydrogen/oxygen bond expands due to the geometry involved. The force of this expansion is enormous — enough to crack rocks and move boulders. When put under pressure, ice behaves as a fluid, and this is what allows glaciers to move. Glaciers are a major sculptor of many mountains and land surfaces, including most of North America.
It is the design of the water molecule that allows us to enjoy so many benefits of ice. Great wisdom and intelligence is built into this seemingly minor part of our existence, which is an incredible tool of God.
© Vitalalp. Image from BigStockPhoto.com.