Reflections on Sunday School Songs: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

It’s about creation. It’s about sovereignty. It’s about protection. It’s about salvation.

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

I left one of my favorite Sunday School songs for last, and in these days after Christmas, when our minds still dwell on the baby in the manger, these simple words seem even more profound. In the tiny hands of a newborn rested all the world…in every sense of the word. He, through whom the world was made (Hebrews 1:2), figuratively held the Planet Earth in His hands.

He’s got the whole wide world in His hands.

Sometimes when we talk about the world, however, we mean all the people on the planet. Like in Joy to the World, there’s the line, “the weary world rejoices.” In that way, too, He holds us all. He knows the number of hairs on our heads (Matt 10:29-30) and the number of days we’ll remain on earth (Psalm 39:4-5). He holds our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows (Psalm 139, Matthew 6:27, 34). Nothing happens without His knowledge. Truly, He is sovereign.

I’m struck here by the combined intimacy and sovereignty of our Lord. Think about that for a moment.

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

“Hold my hand,” I told my little ones when we went into public places or crossed a street. In the same way, Jesus holds our hands as we walk through life. The Psalmist wrote,

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me. -Psalm 138:7

Those tiny hands that reached for the dust floating in the stable’s light also protect us from everything that is not part of His will for our lives.

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

When someone takes responsibility for something, we say, “It’s in your hands.” Christ Jesus, though no longer a baby, took responsibility for our sinfulness when He died on the cross. The nails that penetrated His hands and sunk into the wood behind them at the same time punctured the consequences of our sin so that we became free through His bondage (Isaiah 53:5, Romans 5:9-11, Hebrews 1:3). He carried the salvation of the whole world in His hands.

All these ways we rest in Jesus’ hands? It’s not just you who reads this or me. Recall the other verses of our song:

…you and me, brother

…you and me, sister

…little bitty babies

…the mamas and the papas

…everybody

Maybe it’s simplistic, but this song brings me peace. I find rest in these facts:

  • He is the structure upon which our world stands,
  • He is sovereign,
  • He offers safety,
  • He saves.

The same hands that reached for dust in the stable’s light hold “the whole world.” (click to tweet)

Structure, sovereignty, safety, salvation—all because “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” (click to tweet)

When you sing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands,” what comes to your mind? How does this song make you feel? Please share in the comments below!

Series Conclusion

I’ve known most of these Sunday School songs since before I could speak plainly. Simple or strange, silly or significant (or sometimes both!), they are the foundation of my spiritual worldview. I didn’t realize that fact until now, as I look back on the series. So, for me, returning to them as an adult affirms the fundamentals of my faith. They bring me back to some of the most important truths we possess as believers. Seems like I needed that this year. I pray they’ve done the same for you as we dug into them together.

 

ss-songs-whole-world
(c) Carole Sparks

Attribution: traditional American spiritual (several on-line sources)

 Previously in this series:

This Little Light of Mine

The B-I-B-L-E

Deep and Wide

Zacchaeus

Jesus Loves the Little Children

I’ve Got the Joy

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

Father Abraham

My God Is So Big

If You’re Happy and You Know It

 

 

Reflections on Sunday School Songs: My God Is So Big

Sometimes this parenting thing gets more than a little overwhelming. There are days (both with very young kids and with older ones) when I have slumped into a chair and thought, “I just can’t do this!” There have been nights when I rested my head on the pillow thinking, “I don’t know what to do about that.” And there have been times when I felt certain I was doing it all alone…and all wrong. Please tell me you’ve felt the same way.

So today, I don’t have anything new or innovative. Maybe today, you and I both need to be reminded about the character and nature of God. This fun song does the trick for me every time. Don’t just teach it to your children or sing along with them. Take time to really think about Who God is.

My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty. 
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

Consider each of these adjectives.

ss-songs-god-is-so-big-pic
Waiting at the airport when we moved to Africa, my children stood in the picture window and sang “My God is so Big.” (c) Carole Sparks
  • God is bigger than my…
    • dwindling bank account
    • depression
    • child’s temper tantrums
    • ____________.
  • God is stronger than my…
    • pride
    • frustration
    • teenager’s rebellion
    • ____________.
  • God is mightier than my…
    • friend’s harsh words
    • child’s learning difficulty
    • exhaustion
    • ____________.

In fact, there is absolutely nothing beyond the scope of His power or ability! Easy to say, harder to live out. Am I right? If you do a word search at BibleGateway (or in your concordance) for mighty, or strong (big would probably give you too many options), you’ll find encouraging verses like this one:

The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets.  -Psalm 50:1

The mountains are His,
The rivers are His, 
The stars are His handiwork, too. 

We look to creation to affirm what the Spirit speaks to our hearts—that He is sovereign. Flip through some pictures of your last hike or vacation. Or just look out the window! The Apostle Paul said, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” (Romans 1:20).

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  -Colossians 1:16-17

 Everything belongs to Him—the storms and the butterflies, the decay and the sunrise, the hugs and the heartbreak.

My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do!

Parents, God can handle this…whatever “this” is! Reset your focus off the issue and onto Him. He will adjust your perspective and begin to show you the way forward. Remember when Job asked God “why”? (This is one of my favorite Bible points right now.) God didn’t answer Job’s question. Instead, God invited Job to see Who He is. When we bring Him our problems, often before He gives us solutions or answers, He asks us to remember the same thing: that He is so big, so strong, and so mighty, that there’s nothing He can’t do.

If it helps, you can do the motions for the song. Do you remember them? I especially like “so mighty.”

When you feel overwhelmed, take a minute to sing this fun Sunday School song to yourself. (click to tweet)

 

#IntentionalParenting: Bringing back church songs from your childhood to help you be a better parent now. (click to tweet)

Do you ever have those end-of-the-rope moments? What do you do at those times? When you begin to reflect on God’s size, strength and/or might, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

 

Attribution: by Ruth Harms Calkin. There are many variations on this song, some copyrighted, some not.

Previously in this series:

This Little Light of Mine

The B-I-B-L-E

Deep and Wide

Zacchaeus

Jesus Loves the Little Children

I’ve Got the Joy

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

Father Abraham

 

Still to come:

  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands