It's that time of year when all of creation is breaking out into unsolicited yet glorious song! The birds are boldly tweeting their little hearts out in my backyard. The lilies are brilliantly yellow, and the roses are richly red. The lush carpet of grass covers the soil with magnificent hues of every imaginable shade of green.
"God's in His heaven; All's right with the world." —Robert Browning
I am a person who drinks in the unmatched beauty of creation. I would rather be outside communing with the splendor of flowers and wildlife than inside where dishes and dust relentlessly call my name. I much prefer country roads over well-paved highways even though it may take me twice as long to arrive at my destination.
I am delighted by the sand on the beach and the waves that roar as they meet the land. I am refreshed by majestic mountains that rise defiantly away from the confines of earth.
My soul just wants to shout for the entire world to hear, "God! You did so good! When You created the vast prairies and the windswept plains and the rugged hill country ... You just did so good!"
The boisterous prayer of my heart continues in loud thanksgiving, "God! I love it all! I love the rabbits that scamper and the birds that soar and the flowers that permeate every particle of air with their fragrance! Father, thank You that when you spoke the brilliant sun and the effervescent stars and the slowly drifting clouds into existence that You were thinking about me!"
"God! You are glorious! All of creation roars the power of your fame! There is none like You!"
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul" (Ps. 23:1-3a).
How wonderful to know that I am not alone in my response to the display of creation! David knew that soul restoration would always take place in communion with His Creator and in the world that He had created. There is something healing and reparative about the sheer yet simple beauty of the handiwork of God. David's prescription for your troubled soul matches mine completely: Go find God in the world that He created. As you spend time in the masterpiece that was painted by the grand artist, healing will begin. Peace will spring forth and distress will fade away.
If your soul is brittle today, and you have found yourself scratchy with the frustrations of busyness, perhaps it is time for you to take David's advice. Go for a walk in the refreshing balm of nature's provision—and leave your cell phone at home!
Maltbie Babcock was a minister who lived in western New York, and he often took strolls along the Niagara River to find refreshing for his troubled soul. He would tell his wife that he was going out to see "his Father's world". After his death in 1901, his wife published a book of his poetry that contained the poem "My Father's World." His poem became one of the most well-loved hymns of the 20th century.
My advice for you today is to read Reverend Babcock's poem—and then go for a walk in your Father's world!
"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!"
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