Day 11

This Is My Father’s World

from the Go Tell It on the Mountain reading plan


Genesis 1:1-31, Psalm 19:1-6, Psalm 50:11-12, Psalm 98:8-9, Matthew 6:25-34

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Scripture Reading: Genesis 1:1-31, Psalm 19:1-6, Psalm 50:11-12, Psalm 98:8-9, Matthew 6:25-34

Maltbie Babcock was the kind of college student that would make even a valedictorian jealous. To make matters worse, he was also kind, an expert swimmer, captain of the baseball team, and student orchestra leader. Babcock’s tall, muscled figure was the only thing about him that wasn’t well-rounded.

After graduating from Syracuse University, he attended Auburn Theological Seminary and eventually became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Lockport, New York. In between his daily pastoral duties, Babcock itched to get out of the church office and explore the outdoors surrounding it.

His favorite place to walk was a large hill two miles away that overlooked Lake Ontario. Grabbing his coat and running out the door, Babcock would tell his secretary, “I’m going to see my Father’s world.” He’d later write a sixteen-stanza poem, each verse beginning with that very same sentiment: “This is my Father’s world.”

Sadly, Maltbie Babcock died at age 42 from a bacteria he contracted on a ship en route to the Holy Land. Following his death, his wife compiled his writings into a book called Thoughts for Everyday Living, published in 1901. Fourteen years later, in 1915, the tune for this poem-turned-hymn was arranged from an old English melody by one of Babcock’s close friends, accomplished musician F.L. Sheppard.

Still a favorite today, “This Is My Father’s World” reminds us not only of the beauty of creation, but of the way it tethers us to the more enduring beauty of the gospel and to the goodness of our Father.


This Is My Father’s World
by Maltbie D. Babcock

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!

SRT-Hymns7-Instagram-11

Sources:

Morgan, Robert J. Then Sings my Soul. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011.

Petersen, Randy. Be Still, My Soul: The Inspiring Stories Behind 175 of the Most-Loved Hymns. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2014.

Post Comments (31)

31 thoughts on "This Is My Father’s World"

  1. Cynthia says:

    Thank you,J, for putting into words my feelings as well! I am grateful I am not alone in my struggle in life. My Father is with me everywhere I go. What blessed thought!

  2. J says:

    The simplicity of the lyrics in this hymn were so exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. “This is my Father’s world: Why should my heart be sad?” He is, after all, in the “rustling grass” and truly does speak to us everywhere for He IS everywhere. He is the literal backdrop of every painful moment and conversation, He rides public transportation alongside us when we’re just trying to hold it together, He gives us strength to go through the motions when we feel our toil is in vain. More than this; He is living inside us, He is the air we breathe.
    In my day to day life I OFTEN struggle with shame. I admit that most of the time I don’t readily understand how to apply the gospel good news to my very real circumstances and feelings of self induced and seemingly cyclical failures. I KNOW He has set me free eternally, in the overarching sense – but how can I be freed in this moment, from my habits, my errors? What does that freedom and grace actually look like in my day, when voices real, imagined, and demonic scream even louder? Do I dare make His grace specific?
    This life is hard. To crawl into a little ball is not an option, nor is it an option to give up the fight. We are His ambassadors, and others depend on us, too. But today, for me, the image of our Lord being everywhere, all around us in nature, in our hearts, in His precious word I so ache to make more real in my life — it’s a start. It helps me begin once again as I zoom out in my perspective. Sisters, wherever you are in YOUR days today, if you too are finding your state a bit shaken, may you have the courage to continue to walk – knowing not only is He there with you and everywhere, but if He spoke this earth into existence and inhabits it still, surely He is still speaking.

    1. Irina says:

      ❤️❤️

    2. SuzD says:

      Thank you for your honest words. I, too, have these feelings & questions that you have described.

  3. Sissy says:

    Today, we will bury my beautiful, sweet, and loving Momma. It is so hard for me to fathom, at the age of 33, not having her in my life anymore. But, oh, how wonderful is the reminder that God is still in control and he is victorious over life and death! Please pray for my family today, especially my dad, brother, and me.

    1. Tina says:

      Praying Sissy…
      Sending you a love wrapped hugs and comforting prayers for yourself, your dad and brother.
      God Bless you…xxx

    2. Kat says:

      I know this heartache and I lift you and your family up to The Great Comforter. May you feel His arms around you, may you be carried by the Holy Spirit and may you see His providence and hand in every detail.

    3. Megan says:

      Praying for you and your family, Sissy

    4. churchmouse says:

      Praying for all of you. May God be all you need Him to be each moment of the days ahead.

    5. J says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Sissy. I can’t even fathom your heartbreak. Praying the Lord sustains you, your father, and your brother, and uses you all in divinely perfect ways to comfort one another as you grieve and process all that is in your hearts. May your days get easier and easier as you lean on our Heavenly Father and trust in His goodness.

    6. Karen From Virginia says:

      Oh Sissy!
      I’m praying God’s comfort for you as you walk this hard path. I’ve been there myself, 39 when mine died. I pray God meets you as He met me. It still can be hard but I’ve found God to be bigger than I ever thought. Be good to yourself grief is a journey. Your Heavenly Father is with you.

  4. Kristi says:

    Reading Genesis 1 reminded me of something I heard in a Bible study recently. We were talking about keeping God at the center and how as people, we tend to forget that truth and think the world revolves around us. But in the first chapter of Genesis, how many times is God mentioned as the subject of the sentence? (I don’t remember the exact number, but I will probably go back and count after this… haha) Life has never been and never will be about us. We live in a self-centered “me me me” culture that tells us otherwise, but when we allow God to be at the center of our lives, where He should be, we are able to experience a different kind of beauty and satisfaction through a relationship with Him.

    1. Wanda says:

      Thank you Kristi we need to be reminded of the pure and simple truth!

  5. Ashley BB says:

    I have the most beautiful and wonderful 7 month old son and from the very, very beginning his favorite thing IN THE WORLD is being outside and looking at and touching trees and leaves. He is mesmerized by plants and animals, loves being outside, laughs when the wind tickles his face and is at perfect peace when he is out in nature. Sometimes he looks at me with the biggest grin as if to say, “Are you seeing all of this Mom??” Since we’ve discovered his passion for nature, (and call him “garden boy”) I have been challenged to look at every plant, every nature scene, every sunrise and sunset with the same boundless joy that my son expresses. At 7 months old, he delights in the wonderful works of our Creator better than I do.

    What a joy and challenge to look past myself, my life, my worries and to simply sit and be, to look out with wonder and laugh with my son when the wind tickles our faces.

    This is indeed our Father’s world!

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