By Sheryl Murray
This is my Father’s World
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and round me rings
The music of the spheres
As I was flying on a Boeing 737 a week ago, traveling from Memphis to Denver amidst the COVID-19 concern, my mind naturally turned to those who were suffering around the globe and the unknown number who might be infected and affected. My heart ached for the individuals who were desperately ill, the numerous who had lost their jobs, the health care and government workers who were trying so diligently to keep the virus under control. I replayed the pictures in my mind of the men, women, and children in the airport who had on face masks and were religiously sanitizing their hands in hopes of sidestepping either contracting or transmitting this virulent disease.
Sighing, I peered out my airplane window to see an exceptionally clear sky and terrain below. I marveled at the prettiness of the puffy cumulus clouds against the bright cerulean blue sky. The crystal cirrus clouds added their sweeping contrast. Then, looking down, I smiled at the prairies of Western Nebraska or Eastern Colorado–knowing it must be either, due to the greening center-pivot irrigated circles. A river (the Platte?) wound through the landscape added to by several smaller creeks. I sat still in my seat, struck by the ordinary beauty, the regular rhythm of springtime and harvest, the everyday care of our Creator and Sustainer.
All was calm. Life was proceeding as usual. My eyes misted in thankfulness. All is well. Our God is not taken unaware. He is not surprised by the unfolding events. He continues to provide and care for his creatures, especially humans whom He has made in His own image. My heart felt at peace—my Father was still in charge and totally in control.
My mind jumped to lines from Robert Browning’s “Pippa Passes”:
The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn:
God’s in his heaven—
All’s right with the world!
I’m not talking about some pretentious health/wealth gospel but rather just knowing our God sees us. He loves us. He cares for us. He provides for us—physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Yes, He allows the pain and decay of mankind’s sin in this fallen world. But the gospel—the good news—is that He has also provided a way out. He sent His only son to die for us, to redeem us of this sin, decay, and pain. Then Jesus rose from the dead to conquer it all. He is victorious over it all—including any virus disrupting our global existence. He is the victory who has overcome the world.
Rev. Maltbie D. Babcock’s hymn continues through many lovely stanzas reminding us of our Father’s glory displayed in His Creation. Stanza fifteen then ends with a reminder that we are in a battle which sometimes appears to be too much. No, but our God is the Victor, and someday we will reign with Him on high!
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: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.