My Father’s World: He Speaks to Me Everywhere

Do any of you sometimes get chills from a beautiful sunset? Do you marvel at the intricacy of a snowflake or catch your breath at a field sparkling with morning dew?

“This is My Father’s World” has long been one of my favorite hymns. Many times, these words well up inside me and bubble over in praise of God when I’m out in nature.

Although my husband loves being outdoors, he usually isn’t moved in the same way I am and doesn’t quite understand my response. Maybe some of you feel that way, too.

This post is an attempt to dig deeper into this particular song and articulate why I find these words to be so powerful and such a testament to our great God.

"This is My Father's World" has long been one of my favorite hymns about God and nature. Through this song, I'm reminded of God's presence and sovereignty.

This is My Father’s World

Verse 1

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.

Listening, seeing, feeling—all the senses are involved here. Everything around us (when we are perceptive) reveals awe-inspiring intricacy and magnificence.

Do you know what “the music of the spheres” is? It’s an old philosophical concept regarding the celestial bodies. The root of this theory was that everything (sun, moon, and planets) moved in exact proportions that were perfectly harmonious.

Now, you don’t have to believe that particular theory to feel the depth of this verse. For me, it’s just a phrase to evoke the feeling of wonder felt upon observing the majesty and complexity of creation.

However, I’m not resting in the thought of fascinating rocks and trees. Grand as they are, merely gazing at magnificent trees isn’t going to get me anywhere. Instead, I am overwhelmed by the thought that these are God’s creation.

I’m looking at a glorious sunset, staring in awe at the mountains of Yosemite, breathlessly watching a storm move across the ocean—and thinking, “As grand as these are, they are but a shadow and a poor reflection of the great glory of their Maker. All this was conceived and created by God.”

Positioning myself to see the wonder of God’s creation and his mighty power also helps me to see myself in my proper place—I am both terribly insignificant in contrast to this vast greatness, and also so wondrously made and beloved.

Verse 2

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.

The glory of God is on display in the grand, majestic points of creation, but it is also seen in a tiny chirping bird, a pale ray of sunlight on the morning dew, and the beautifully clothed flowers and grasses of the field.

In one of my favorite passages from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus points to the flowers of the field and observes how we can see God’s care and attention to creation in the splendor of the beautifully clothed flowers. (That’s also the passage that inspired this blog’s name.)

Again, this isn’t a pantheistic, God-is-in-everything kind of situation. This song points to the fact that everything we see in nature declares God’s praise, points to what a magnificent and creative artist he is, and tells us a little about Him.

Verse 3

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 favorite verse.

Nature is a wonderful signpost pointing us to our great God, but it’s only a herald and a foreshadowing; it’s a tiny piece of the big picture. If we look to nature for the whole story—if we try to let it teach us everything about God—we’re quickly overcome by the problem of the evil and brokenness of this world.

Scripture gives us the rest of the story.

God is the Ruler of all; He holds power and authority over everything.

This shouldn’t be read as a simplistic “He’s got the whole world in His hands” type of statement. The reality and magnitude of God’s sovereignty is tied up in what happened on Easter and His declaration that He is making all things new. There is nothing small or simplistic about it.

“God is the Ruler yet.”

Even the earth rejoices in the knowledge that God holds together its very being and commands its destiny. Shouldn’t we, as well?

Now that, I think, is a thought to rest and rejoice in.

"This is My Father's World" has long been one of my favorite hymns about God and nature. Through this song, I'm reminded of God's presence and sovereignty.

Take it with you.

So, I hope that gave you some insight into why I love this great hymn. It’s such a consistent reminder to me of God’s power, His intimate concern for all creation, and also His ultimate control over the destiny of all the world.

If you’d like to infuse this hymn and it’s reminders into your daily life, here are a few suggestions:

For starters, I’ve created this free printable that you can display somewhere you’ll see it and think of the song!

This, and a growing library of other resources, will be available for free download from my “Free Resources Page” (creative title, eh? 🙂 ). It’s a password protected page, though, to try to deter people from stealing and reusing my work. 🙁

None of you lovely people would do anything like that, though, so you can get the password by subscribing to Snapdragon of the Field. You’ll also get notifications of new posts (typically once a week) so that you don’t miss out on anything!

Another option, if you’re more musically inclined (or don’t know this tune yet), are these Youtube.com videos. I like these versions best of the ones I’ve found and they even include some verses with which you may not be as familiar.

I hope this helps you see God and nature in a new way today. What are some of the songs that come to your mind when you think of God as sovereign and creator? What songs do you sing out in nature?

"This is My Father's World" has long been one of my favorite hymns about God and nature. Through this song, I'm reminded of God's presence and sovereignty.


2 thoughts on “My Father’s World: He Speaks to Me Everywhere

  1. First of all, let me say, I love this song. I love to play the Chris Rice version on the Piano. The melody and the lyrics are so inviting to me–to see God’s hand all over this earth as well as, in my backyard. Secondly, the flower pictures are beautiful!! <3

    1. Thanks! We had a beautiful spring of flowers around here. And that’s so fun that you like to play it on the piano! I like the Chris Rice version, too. It almost made it into the post, but I decided three videos was probably a bit much, haha!

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