The awesome wonders in our world call for celebrating our Heavenly Father

©Joy Dunlap

“This is My Father’s World” plays in my mind especially around Father’s Day. As a youth, I remember joining my voice with others in our church congregation as the organist and pianist played the familiar tune found in our hymnals. To this day, it is one of my favorite hymns (although I have many). I love it because it prompts us to consider the wonders God put in creation for us to enjoy, and also serves as a reminder of the strength, peace, and comfort we can experience when we trust our Heavenly Father.

“I’m going out to see the Father’s world,” is what Maltbie Davenport Babcock would tell his wife before heading out for walks. He put the “Father’s World” concept to verse, but it wasn’t until after the minister’s early death just shy of 42 that his wife published that poem and others in the 1901 Thoughts for Every-Day Living. In 1915, a close friend, Franklin Sheppard would attach portions of Babcock’s poem to an adaptation of an old English folk tune, calling the arrangement “Terra Beata.”

Amy Grant recorded the song with a modified version in 2002 on her album Legacy…Hymns and Faith. Now in the public domain, the words of “This is My Father’s World” are readily available, but rarely sung in churches that avoid traditional hymns.

As we examine the words, we see how Babcock weaves into his work Biblical truths that we can REST in the knowledge that our Heavenly Father created the wonders in our world and is still in charge; that He SPEAKS to us in our surroundings; and that we can HEAR Him when we listen.

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:

Why should my heart be sad?

The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!

God reigns; let earth be glad!

“This is My Father’s World” by Maltbie Davenport Babcock (bold emphasis added)  

No matter the turmoil, trials, or trespasses we may encounter, or even when evil seems to be gaining ground, we can take heart that our Heavenly Father, the Creator, is still in control. 

It is Father’s Day every day. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:1-2 NIV

  • What attribute of God most allows you to envision Him as your Heavenly Father?
  • What is most troubling you in the world today?  Do you believe God has the power to handle it?
  • In what ways are you resting in God’s provision?  Rejoicing that He reigns?
  • Which of the three stanzas of “This is My Father’s World” do you most relate to right now?  Why?

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” Matthew 6:9-13 NIV


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™

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