This is My Father’s World
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 open 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.
Words: Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901
I love the hymns of old. Many of them speak the truth of the Bible so eloquently. The hymn “This is my Father’s World” is a great reminder that this is God’s world. He is the one who created it, breathed life into it, sustains it, holds it all together, and loves us enough to send his son to die for us, and he is the one responsible for it. Sometimes Christians, maybe missionaries in particular, have the idea, or desire to ‘save the world.’ We think that we are called to ‘right the wrong,’ ‘defeat the enemy,’ and ‘solve all the world’s problems,’ to quote a few clichés. Maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but sometimes we think that way. We somehow think saving the world is our responsibility. What we need to do is let God be responsible for saving his world – he is much better at it and much more capable.
I think this one of the hardest things about the Gospel to accept. The Gospel is not about us doing anything, except accepting his free gift. The Gospel is all about what God does for us; it is the outpouring of his grace and mercy upon us that allows us to be saved. He does it all! We either want to do it or feel like we need to do something. We make it out to be about us when it is all about God.
“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.”
There is however plenty of evil in this world and it is easy to despair and feel there is no hope. Working with the children in City Ministries this becomes very obvious. Recently I led a small group Bible study with some of teenage boys. One of our discussions was about how David responded when Saul threw a spear at him. The boys asked how they should respond if someone was trying to kill them. Should they run away or should they come back as David did? I asked them how many of them had their lives threatened, and most raised their hands. This is the reason many of them are at City Ministries they literally ran for their life and were living on the streets until they were brought in by City Ministries.
But, as Christians we know that there is hope, and that God is in control. We know the end of the story; that Jesus will return and there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth. We need to remind ourselves of this every day and not lose hope. I need to remind myself that God is in control and that he is more than capable of handling the situation. “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.”
Let us rejoice and be glad, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, knowing that God is in control, and loves us more than we could ever imagine.
“The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” Habakkuk 2:20 NIV