"MY FATHER KNOWS"
"Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite" (Ps. 147.5)
INTRO.: A gospel song which expresses a relationship of trust in our Lord’s infinite understanding is "My Father Knows" (#470 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text is credited to S. M. I. Henry, about whom nothing further is known, except that it may be Mrs. Sarepta Myrenda Irish Henry (1839-1900). The song is usually dated around 1897 when it was first published. However, it is possible that the words were produced earlier as they also appear with a tune (Melmore) dated 1864 composed by H. Martin. The tune used in most books was composed by Edwin Othello Excell (1851-1921). The song was copyrighted by Excell in 1897. The copyright was renewed in 1925 by the Hope Publishing Co.
Excell also produced both words and music for the song "Since I Have Been Redeemed," and provided melodies for J. B. Atkinson’s "There’s A Stranger at the Door" and "In the Shadow of His Wings" and Johnson Oatman’s "Count Your Blessings." He also made the modern arrangement of "Amazing Grace." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s Church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "My Father Knows" appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson, and the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater. Today it is found only in Sacred Selections.
The song reminds us of God’s love and care for His children.
I. Stanza 1 says that God knows the storms of life that we must face.
"I know my heavenly Father knows The storms that would my way oppose;
But He can drive the clouds away, And turn my darkness into day."
A. We experience many storms in the various trials and tribulations of this life: Jas. 1.2
B. However, our Lord can drive the clouds away just as Jesus stilled the tempests on Galilee: Matt. 8.23-27
C. In so doing, He can turn our darkness into day: 1 Thess. 5.4-5
II. Stanza 2 says that God knows the balm that we need.
"I know my heavenly Father knows The balm I need to soothe my woes;
And with His touch of love divine, He heals this wounded soul of mine."
A. When we experience woes, we need some kind of balm: Jer. 8.22
B. God provides the balm that we need by His love: Ps. 146.8
C. This love can heal our wounded souls: Mal. 4.6
III. Stanza 3 says that God knows how frail we are to meet our enemies
"I know my heavenly Father knows How frail I am to meet my foes,
But He my cause will e’er defend, Uphold and keep me to the end."
A. Yes, God knows how frail and weak we are: Ps. 103.14
B. But He has promised to be a fortress of defense to save us: Ps. 31.1-2
C. Therefore, we can trust Him to uphold and keep us to the end: 1 Pet. 1.5
IV. Stanza 4 says that God knows the hour when our journey here will end
"I know my heavenly Father knows The hour my journey here will close,
And may that hour, O faithful Guide, Find me safe sheltered by Thy side."
A. The hour our journey here will close, of course, refers to the time of death: Heb. 9.27
B. We know not when that hour may come, but God does, and we can look to Him to be our faithful guide: Ps. 48.14
C. The important thing is not when we die but whether we are sheltered safely by His side when that time comes: Prov. 1.33
CONCL.: The chorus affirms that because of God’s knowledge, He acts in our best interest:
"He knows, He knows, The storms that would my way oppose;
He knows, He knows, And tempers every wind that blows."
There are many things about this life, and especially about what the future holds, that we do not know. But we know Him who holds the future, and He knows all things. Therefore, as I continue with whatever is left of my journey upon this earth, I can take great comfort in the fact that "My Father Knows."