Like so many in North Dakota, I am not from here. I came from California where local weather forecasters would announce, “Weather Watch!” anytime we had the threat of temperatures below 70 degrees. I’m kidding, of course, but just barely.
Within three months of moving here I’ve experienced freezing fog—I never knew such a thing existed. I’ve encountered snow rollers—those donut-like, arctic tumbleweedish snowballs created by the wind. And I’ve felt a nose-numbing 20 degrees below. Thermometers in California don’t have numbers, but markings like “Perfect,” “Perfecter,” and “Perfecterest.”
All this reminds me that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). And when he did he said, “It is good.” Some California transplants might question the goodness of winters with wind chill factors of minus forty degrees, but not this ex-Californian.
When God created California and North Dakota—the Genesis account implies he did this at the same time—was God suffering from a split personality? Why did he create such extreme differences? How could God create on the one hand the land of the Rose Parade and the beautiful Pacific Ocean, then on the other hand create the land of frozen sewer vent pipes and black ice? God’s not schizophrenic is he?
God neither has a mental illness nor is he unjust. The world’s complexity, its various climates, topographies, flora and fauna (those aren’t two fairy godmothers from a Disney movie) reveal something pretty significant. God created a place for us that works.
The earth’s diverse weather and climates have at least two purposes. First it reveals God’s invisible attributes (Romans 1:20). A complex world filled with interdependent vegetation and varmints—that is, flora and fauna—reveals a God who is complex. He knows how to make things work. In the words of higher education, God knows stuff. And because he knows how to make this diverse, complex, multi-faceted, colorful, hot-and-cold, tropic-and-arctic world work, it’s safe to say he knows how we humans work.
And this brings me to the second purpose for the earth’s complexity: it was created for the best thing God ever made. I don’t mean chocolate or snowmobiles. I mean human beings. He put us in a world that is a custom fit for us. I find great comfort in knowing that the place I live—whether North Dakota or Southern Sudan—is part of a great integrated system that could only come from an intelligent being. We aren’t here because something comes from nothing; we are here because an intelligent, complex, moral being created us, and gave us the ability to recognize him in his creation (Psalm 19:1).