This is my Father’s World

woman singing

“This Is My Father’s World” is a hymn I was reintroduced to recently, and I have found its words to be calming in the midst of the anxious climate of uncertainties to be found outside my door. This blog is to be posted the Friday before an election that has brought about a great deal of division and disunity during a global pandemic that has also brought about the same. No matter what happens on this earth, the lyrics are a reminder that this is in fact our Father’s world, our future hope is secure in Him, and He is present in the intricate details of the world around us. 

Maltbie Davenport Babcock not only has a great name, but also wrote the words to this great hymn. Before heading out for evening walks, it is written that he would say, “I’m going out to see my Father’s world.” I have turned my own walks with my dog Lady into a habit of “going out to see our Father’s world” and taking in the sights and sounds around me. 

Things aren’t always serene. I live on a busy street where cars speed by, sirens ring, and people talk as they walk by my window. The world around me can seem busy and loud, but when I look at it through this new lens, I see God’s presence moving through those sounds. As I try to hone in on His Spirit, I look at each person walking by as a soul. Each tree playing its part in providing oxygen. Each bird with its intricate call, lovingly created by Him. 

Get Outside

One way to experience God and His peace is to get outside and revel in nature. He has created this beautiful and intricate earth that continues to grow and change as we grow and change. How we interpret nature can change depending on our circumstances. 

Jesus tells us to reflect on nature when worries come:

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:26-27 

What I love about animals and nature is that they live in the moment. I am an avid bird watcher, and I love watching birds because birds are so joyful! They wake up singing and go to sleep singing. I wish I could always be like that. Their days are filled with taking care of that day. Whether gathering food and building their nest, caring for their families, or traveling somewhere new, they are living in the moment. They are not sitting on tree branches worrying about tomorrow. God provides for them, and they live with the assurance that He will provide daily. 

Nature can play a role in how we can connect with God and be times where He speaks with us. The Psalms are filled with marveling at His glory by meditating on the Earth. Go outside, find something to revel and meditate in–maybe the birds like me, or a bright green leaf, or the soft breeze–just be in that moment with Him.

The Psalms are filled with references to God’s divine presence in nature. 

Psalm 104 in particular, 

“How many are your works, Lord!

    In wisdom you made them all;

    the earth is full of your creatures.” 104:24

 “All creatures look to you

    to give them their food at the proper time.”

Psalm 104:27

Unfailing Trust

Those who know your name trust in you,

for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:10

The hymn also carries a theme of trust. Trusting and surrendering to God during this present season has been hard for me at times. I was recently reminded that God is the source of my trust–not me, and my well of trust doesn’t depend on me nor does my ability to fill it. I can ask for more trust when I am unsure or worried and hold onto His promises that He can and will give it.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

I have been studying meditation as a Spiritual Discipline, and sometimes I’ll meditate on the image of a beautiful, flowering tree by the water that can weather any storm. When Lady and I go for walks, I am reminded of God’s presence and strength whenever we pass trees planted by streams of water. This is His world, and He has given us the gift of creation to experience more of Him by noticing it–I hope this hymn brings you encouragement today!

This is my Father’s world,

And to my listening ears

All nature sings, and round me rings

The music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world:

I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;

His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,

The birds their carols raise,

The morning light, the lily white,

Declare their maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world:

He shines in all that’s fair;

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;

He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget

That though the wrong

Seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:

The battle is not done:

Jesus who died shall be satisfied,

And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world,

Dreaming, I see His face.

I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise

Cry, The Lord is in this place.

This is my Father’s world,

From the shining courts above,

The Beloved One, His Only Son,

Came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world,

Should my heart be ever sad?

The lord is King—let the heavens ring.

God reigns—let the earth be glad.

This is my Father’s world.

Now closer to Heaven bound,

For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.

No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world.

I walk a desert lone.

In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze

God makes His glory known.

This is my Father’s world,

A wanderer I may roam;

Whate’er my lot, it matters not,

My heart is still at home.

More information on the hymn can be found here.

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1 comment

  1. Great reminder to be acutely aware of His world and care. Appreciate the various artists singing but would like to hear you as well sing this song. Maybe, please?