A New Heart Makes a New World!
C. Campbell Morgan introduces his little book, "All Things New," with a pleasing incident. A young man who had recently become a Christian was walking in a garden with a friend. Stooping, he plucked a leaf from a nasturtium plant, and laying it in his friend's hand, he said, "Isn't that beautiful? I never knew how beautiful every leaf was until the Lord saved me." The world had all become new to him, because he had a new joy in his heart. He saw everything new in the light of the new sentiment which now pervaded and dominated his life.
We get a secret here which is well worth remembering. When the heart is aglow with love for Christ — the glow touches everything with its own radiance! We look upon the world then as belonging to Christ. He made it. The beauty we see everywhere — his hands fashioned. Jesus himself told us that our Father clothes the lilies. When we look upon the exquisite loveliness of the flowers which bloom everywhere in summer days, and remember that God gave them their wondrous adornment, put the tints into the petals with his own fingers — cold is the heart that is not warmed by the sentiment.
It adds a new charm and oft-times inestimable value to a little picture or a piece of embroidery, to remember that a beloved mother's hands made it. And if we could always remember of the things we see in nature, that God's hands made them, we would find loveliness in even a weed.
But it was not only, nor primarily, the thought that Christ had made the nasturtium leaf that gave it such beauty to the young man; it was the new gladness that the peace of God had started in his own heart.
Paul says, in one of his epistles, "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new!" A Christian is a new man — he is born again, born from above, born of the Spirit. It is the same, in a sense, as if a heavenly habitant had come down to live in this world. He has begun to breathe the atmosphere of Heaven.
A story tells of a fisherman's hut which was changed to silver, walls and floors and windows and doors and furniture, by a mysterious little silver lamp that was brought into it. Such a change is it that takes place in a worldly person — when the lamp of God's love begins to burn in his heart. Not only is the life itself made new — with new motives, new principles, new dispositions, new affections — but all things outside become new also. There is no change in the world itself. They are the same hills, the same valleys, the same gardens, the same trees and flowers, that we look upon — but new eyes now see them and they appear in new beauty and glory.
The truth suggested here has very wide application. Our heart makes our world. If the bird of peace sings within us — then all the forests and all the skies are full of song. Wherever we go we find light because the light shines out through our own windows and brightens everything before our eyes.
There is a fable which tells that a burning torch and a piece of black charcoal were sent out to see what they could find in the great world. They went everywhere, and when at length they returned, the torch reported that it had found brightness wherever it had gone. The dark ember told a mournful story of its tour — that wherever it went it found nothing but gloom and shadow. Each found just what it was prepared to find.
It is just so with men and women. Those who are happy-hearted — discover happy hearts everywhere. Those with beauty in their soul — see beauty in everything.
Some people say this is a cold world. Others say it is full of the warmth of love. Some tell you that there is no gratitude anywhere, that all men are selfish and ungrateful, that everybody lives for himself. Others speak with glowing interest and enthusiasm of the kindness, the thoughtfulness, the unselfishness, they meet in their interactions with others. These different aspects in which different people see the world, are largely due to the eyes that look. We need to be very careful in our comments upon the things about us, for we are unconsciously revealing more of what is in ourselves, than of what there is in the things we describe!
This teaching suggests also how the love of Christ in the heart changes the aspect of all the experiences of life for a Christian. The young man had never seen any particular beauty in a nasturtium leaf — until the joy of Christ flooded his life. Now all things were made new, and the most commonplace objects became lovely.
The same effect is produced in life's circumstances and experiences. What seemed hard yesterday, appears easy today, for now we have Christ. If the heart is glowing with love for the Master — then sorrow loses its bitterness. We are ready to endure anything for him. Paul could sing in a dungeon, his feet crushed in iron clamps. He had learned to find blessing and good everywhere.