This is My Father’s World

This is my Father's world

(This article is also available on Youtube at https://youtu.be/on4_1O1RuZM)

Our current status with the ongoing Covid restrictions and the recent elections, has perhaps at worst, left some of us disillusioned about the future and at best heavily distracted.

Someone said this week:  Feels like we’re all in divorce court waiting to see who gets custody of us.

To which a couple of replies were made: For now, yes. But Jesus is in the process of finalizing the adoption papers. Then we get to go to His house! Yesss!!!

Another one: Interesting thought. Except our Father's children get to choose their side and their home. That choice cost a big price to Him.

Another comment I have shared before is : Don’t let what you see make you forget what He said.  That is referring to what God’s Word tells us about the future and His promises to us.

I will share a favorite Scripture verse, but I wonder how deeply we believe it, especially now with fear of the future pressing in dark around us.

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We need to believe this, do we not?

There are promises for every need and perplexity-God’s Word does not lack in meeting our needs; Amen?

Spending time in God’s Nature is a remedy for many things, especially stress.

I don’t know if you have seen some of the studies that have been put out over the last couple of years; how those that suffer from depression, will get out and take a walk-it totally changes things in their brain.  So when we are counseled to be in nature, there is a reason for that, right?

Here are a couple of quotes I want to share:

… Recreation in the open air, the contemplation of the works of God in nature, will be of highest benefit.Testimonies for the Church 4:653.1

Many illustrations from nature are used by the Bible writers, and as we observe the things of the natural world, we shall be enabled, under the guiding of the Holy Spirit, more fully to understand the lessons of God's word. It is thus that nature becomes a key to the treasure house of the word. Ed 120.1 {Is that fascinating?  You want to understand God’s Word better, you need to look at nature more.}

Children should be encouraged to search out in nature the objects that illustrate Bible teachings, and to trace in the Bible the similitudes drawn from nature. {Does this mean that if we are over a certain age, this no longer applies?  We are all God’s Children.  And we all need and can benefit from this.}  They should search out, both in nature and in Holy Writ, every object representing Christ, and those also that He employed in illustrating truth. Thus may they learn to see Him in tree and vine, in lily and rose, in sun and star. They may learn to hear His voice in the song of birds, in the sighing of the trees, in the rolling thunder, and in the music of the sea. And every object in nature will repeat to them His precious lessons. Ed 120.2

To those who thus acquaint themselves with Christ, the earth will nevermore be a lonely and desolate place. { Is that encouraging?  For what we are told is coming, what we are experiencing, if we acquaint ourselves so with the Lord, this will nevermore be desolate to us.} It will be their Father's house, filled with the presence of Him who once dwelt among men. Ed 120.3

That is precious-so precious!

I want to talk about the origin of my opening song.  As it came my mind this week-This is my Father’s world, we can say that when things are going crazy, right? And it is kind of a grounding statement, it is like take a breath, it is okay, God is not unaware.

Song Origin: 

When Maltbie Davenport Babcock, a pastor, resided in Lockport NY, he would take strolls along the Niagara Escarpment to savor the overlook's scenic view of upstate New York surroundings and Lake Ontario, telling his wife he was "going out to see the Father's world". Soon after his death in 1901, she released a collection of Babcock's poems entitled Thoughts for Every-Day Living that contained the poem "My Father's World."

The original poem was composed in 16 four-line stanzas, { I did not know that until this week. SO of course I had to go find it, we’ll get to that.} each beginning with “This is my Father’s world.” One of Babcock’s friends, Franklin Shepherd (1852-1930) adopted an English folk song inserting portions of Babcock’s text into three, eight-line stanzas. The hymn in this form first appeared in the composer’s hymnal Alleluia, a Presbyterian Sunday school book published in 1915.

Do you want to know what those 16 stanza’s are?  I found them!  Some of the sites only had a portion of them and even my book Sing With Understanding did not have all of them or in the right order.  SO I found it, and I am pretty excited about this.  Are you ready?

Here is the 16 Stanzas:

Amen!

This week the stanza “This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’er forget, That tho’ the wrong seems oft so strong”, What is the response? “God is the ruler yet!”  And we need to hold on to that, because we haven’t seen nothing yet, I mean really.  So what ever happens next, we must remember what David said in  Psa 24:1 The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

We must trust the Lord through all of this, because He has not let go.  If they that dwell therein are His, what does that mean to us?  We’re His! Right?

And so when we find ourselves in perplexity about what is next, we must hold onto the promise Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Are we surrendering our lives to His purpose? You know His purpose is eternal.  Not temporal or temporary.  We like to quote Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know that plans I have for you, says the Lord.”  What did Jeremiah’s life look like?  I have mentioned this many times, because it often leaves me kind of doing a re-check.  Jeremiah’s life was difficult, but what was the good God was planning?  Was it temporal?  It was eternal!  The impact of Jeremiah following God-according to His purpose, and Jeremiah’s destiny, it is eternal.  And so even though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet!  And we can trust Him, amen? 

Now is the time Brothers and Sisters for us to become so sober and seriously minded in regards to all the areas in our life, whether or not we have given the Lord access to all those things, because He has something so much better for us.  And if we learn those lessons, if we we continually are looking to see and understand, and better know His Word, will we be strengthened for the future?  Will the dark be able to press in and suffocate us? No!  But we have to have that experience and that relationship today, and the Lord longs-at that high price-to give us that experience, to weave us into that relationship with Him, that will hold us regardless of what the wrong is doing.  You know David talked about that; he sees the evil prospering, and says how can this be.  But what did he say later?  I looked into the Sanctuary, and I saw their end.  No matter what we see, don’t let it make you forget what God has said, because He is the ruler.

I just want to share briefly: I had read in the Spirit of Prophecy how the Holy Spirit can bring to our mind lessons, that might not make sense when we are sitting out in nature.  And I thought what does that mean.  Well one day, very early on in our country living journey, living in different places-my husband was back still on the coast, dealing with things there, and I was at a friend’s cabin (it would take me a half an hour to get anywhere to make a phone call.)  So it was a very quite place, if anything went wrong-nobody would know it for days.  But I am sitting on the porch and watching these birds that I had never seen, I later found out they were camp-robbers, you  know Gray-jays.  They are so elegant looking-just beautiful!  I was watching them fly and I was just taking in the all the sights, the sounds, and the smells.  All of a sudden this lesson came so vibrantly strong to my mind.  It had nothing to do with the birds, or the trees.  And I was like ‘That must be what she meant about the Holy Spirit bringing to our minds.’  So sometimes when we’re looking at nature, we don’t necessarily see the lesson that the Lord had planted there.  But if we will be still, He will show us amazing things.  And our faith in Him and our experience in trusting Him will grow and strengthen.  We all need that right now.  That one little experience of mine is not enough to carry me through the future, but a continual abiding and seeking of Him through His word, is going to be a strong safety, amen?  So whatever the news brings, you can just say “this is my father’s world.”  Amen?

Let me have prayer with you this morning.

Precious Heavenly Father, We are so grateful that you do know the plans you have for us as your people.  We are so grateful that you are focused on the eternal picture-the lasting.  We are also grateful that you care about the temporal, and can help us through any bit of it.  Please help us Lord, as we continue to go forward, that we can stand boldly as your children-representing you in a way the honors you, because we trust.  Your word says that  he is in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you.  Help us Lord to train our minds that we so think of you and consider you.  We live in such a beautiful place to see your lessons.  Open our eyes to those lessons that we may be strengthened and enabled to better understand and serve you. We ask for this, because you are worthy, in Jesus Name, Amen.

~ Article by Belinda Lowry