DayBreaks for 3/16/18: My Father’s World
From the DayBreaks archive, 2008:
“This is my Father’s world, and too my listen 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.”
I’ve always loved that song. I remember on the morning after my father died and I was waiting for the train that was bringing our oldest son home from Seattle, that as I wandered around the train station and the marshland nearby (there was a walking trail through it), I sang this song inside my head. It felt strange to sing it, for my father was no longer in this world and I felt that loss very keenly.
As I sang it to myself, over and over, I knew and understood that as much as I would miss my dad and his being in “my world”, that I was not Fatherless. This was still my Father’s world, and even as He’d given that gift to my dad, He’d also given that same world to me – to all of us.
This song should be a daily part of our worship, I think. I don’t know about you, but I find it all too easy to get down on the world – to just see the ugliness of it, the greed and rape and killing and abuse. Let us not forget, however, that it is God’s world – made with the words of His mouth. It is not the world that is bad, it is men and women. If nothing else, singing this song should fill us anew with the wonder of God’s creative power, and we need to remember that this is His world – it is not a wasted effort by God that He hates and which He will someday throw out in the trash. No, I rather think God loves His creation and if I read this verse correctly, He’s at work redeeming it, not planning to trash it: Colossians 1:19-20 (NASB) – For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Did you catch that? He’s working to reconcile ALL THINGS to Himself – whether things on earth or things in heaven. And this: Romans 8:22-23 (NIV) – We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. The creation groans…it awaits its own redemption, just as we await the fullness of our deliverance.
I hope to remember to sing this song to myself much more often in the future. It matters how I see the world. If I see it as something horrendous that must be avoided at all costs, from which I must distance myself, I’ll not have God’s own heart for the creation and people that He declared good and that “He so loved”. Just as some people refuse to watch the news because it’s just too ugly and painful (as a result they become out of touch with life lived on this sphere), we’re tempted as believers who are so repulsed by the evil we see and sense all around us to just shut it off. We can’t – we mustn’t – if we are to be followers of the Rabbi.
PRAYER: Lord, have mercy on our souls. Fill us with the wonder of your world, with love for its people, with hope for its future, with praise for your greatness and confidence in your work to redeem all things to yourself. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.