The Beautiful Garden of My Heart

The Beautiful Garden of My Heart

Text

My beloved is gone down into his garden ... to gather lilies (Song of Solomon 6:2). Thou shalt be like a watered garden  (Isaiah 58:11).

Purpose of the Illustration

  1. To show the types of plants, or characters, we may grow under God's watering in our hearts.

  2. To impress upon the audience that life with God can be beautiful, like a well-watered garden.

  3. To show that the proper type of character-plants can be grown only when God is the Gardener of the heart and plants the seeds.

Apparatus

  1. A glass tumbler of ordinary size.

  2. A high stand or pedestal or table upon which to work. This is a very beautiful demonstration and should be performed to the best of sight-advantage.

Chemicals

  1. A half-tumbler of water glass, which is sodium silicate.

  2. A half-glass of water.

  3. A few crystals or lumps, the size of a match head or larger, of the following chemicals: iron chloride or ferric chloride, cobalt chloride, zinc sulphate.

Method of Procedure

  1. Pour the water glass into the empty glass. Add the half-glass of plain water. This will make a glass almost full of the diluted solution.

  2. Drop a half-dozen or more of the chemical crystals into the solution.

  3. Be sure the glass is placed where everyone in the audience can see it.

  4. If you desire, you may use three tumblers of the diluted solution so that the three chemicals may be put into separate glasses.

Chemical Reactions

  1. The lumps quickly develop plantlike branches or shoots which often reach the surface in a few seconds.

  2. Each chemical lump produces its individual color, thus illustrating the various types of character-plants God will cultivate in the garden of our hearts.

Cautions

  1. This is a sight-experiment and results depend upon the audience being able to see everything that happens. Place your work table or pedestal with that in mind.

  2. You may heighten the effect of the experiment if you are able to darken your room and throw a spotlight upon the experimenter and his work. You may heighten the effect still more by changing the coloring of the spotlight. Simply place differently colored sheets of cellophane over the spotlight.

  3. If you wish to lengthen the time element of the experiment to suit a longer talk, then use three separate glasses of solution, and develop each chemical, in turn, in its glass. Use the chemicals in the order shown under Chemicals: (3). Start your talk at once and continue to talk throughout the experiment.

God is the great Sower—start the experiment—and our hearts are His garden. God as the Gardener goes forth to sow the seeds of truth and character-plants which will grow into a lovely garden of kind deeds and personality traits. The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:18-23) tells us about the different kinds of heart-gardens upon which the seed of truth falls.

Some grounds are hard, some hearts difficult for God's seeds to take root. Some lives are so filled with the affairs of this world that there is little time or fertile ground upon which the seed of truth may thrive. Truth may be best implanted in children's hearts.

This glass—display the empty glass—represents our hearts, the plain garden before God begins to sow. I prepare the garden for sowing by first putting this chemical solution in it—pour in the water glass—and then I water the garden—add the plain water. The Bible speaks of our hearts as being "watered gardens." If you are going to raise a garden of beautiful flowers or useful vegetables you will need water.

Then you must have seeds to plant. Here I have three kinds of seeds—show the chemical lumps. And as God sows seeds in our hearts, I shall plant several of these seeds in our garden—drop the lumps into the solution one by one.

When we plant a garden it takes several days for the seeds to sprout, and so it takes a little while for each of these chemical seeds to sprout. But watch carefully—see, the seeds are sprouting, and the plants are growing.  Aren't the colors beautiful?

So when God plants a garden in our hearts He wants it to grow into something beautiful, not ugly and discolored and deformed, but something that will attract others and lead them to Him as the Gardener.

He prepares our hearts for the planting of His seed by coming in as the Heart-Gardener. We receive Him by faith when we confess our sins, and believe on the Lord Jesus as our Saviour. When He comes in, the planting of character-seeds begins.

What kind of plants would you like to grow in your heart? Faith? Love? Kind deeds? Courage to smile in the face of difficulty? And what about patience? That is a plant which often does not grow well in one's heart-garden. Service is a plant that you will want. Have a number of them growing in a nook or corner by the garden wall, so that you will be able to do things for Christ by doing them for others.

David Livingstone had the plant of courage. Let us represent it by this plant—point to one of the chemical growths. When others said the work was impossible he kept on until he died on his knees. Mary Slessor had faith, a very useful heart-plant that God can develop in your soul. Her faith literally locked the mouths of the cannibal tribes of Africa, and while they ate others, they obeyed her, and finally came to Christ with their dark hearts and asked Him to become their souls' Gardener.

Let me tell you of a seed you want to have planted in your heart. It is this little always-singing plant. You know some people are never satisfied with the weather, the growth of their crops, their living conditions, the general pattern of their days. But others, many of whom labor under the disadvantages of physical handicaps, and even little children whose bodies are twisted and wasted by cruel disease, are always smiling and singing.

When God plants seeds in your heart, ask Him to put in a large patch of this always-singing plant. It is a plant of wonderful growth and blessing.

Let me tell you a story. Said a young doctor, "I guess I'll go. That brother who is leading in prayer, surely takes his time to inform the good Lord what has been, what is coming, and what he thinks." So the young doctor picked up his black satchel and started to leave the huge tent which was pitched on a vacant lot in London. But just at that moment a man in the great audience arose from his knees and said, "While the brother continues to inform the Lord, let us sing," and named a number in the hymn book. The speaker was Ira D. Sankey.

The young doctor said to himself, "Believe I'll wait and see what happens." So he waited, and soon one of the mightiest men he had ever heard arose and began to preach. The doctor listened, and the seed of God's Word began to fall into his heart-garden and sprouted into a plant of faith. Before the meeting was over, the young doctor asked God to come in and become his Heart-Gardener. The preacher was Dwight L. Moody.

That night began the noble career of Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, known and beloved as the doctor of Labrador. In his heart God planted the seed of service, and when he died he had brought the comfort of Christ and life and hope to the lonely people on the icebound shores of Labrador.

So, whether we are young or old, if we will only listen and open our hearts to the Gardener, He will come in and plant character-seeds. Some will blossom into beautiful flowers which will spread abroad their fragrance of love and kindness, and others will bear fruits of good works and holy actions whose influence will reach around the world.

These chemical gardens are beautiful—lift your glass so all may see—but no more so than the gardens of our hearts when the Master Gardener comes in and takes charge of them.

| More