Bathed in Yellow

Vincent Van Gogh, Christians, Dr, Gary Davis, God, reflection, vision                  It is not an unknown fact that painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), used yellow in his art to signify the presence of God. In many of his self-portraits he was bathed in hues of soft gold and yellow.

Vincent lived a troubled life. Though he was the son and grandson of Dutch Reformed Church ministers, his own faith was tumultuous; he was constantly plagued with doubt, low self-esteem, and depression. So much so that at age 37 he took his own life with a single gunshot.

His paintings reflected his life— vague, obscure images, dark & brooding; yet with that thread or point of golden yellow burning through somewhere on the canvas. Whether point or thread, it is always there.

His art reflected his own life, to be sure; but it also mirrors so much in our own lives as well. The Christian life is not a glorious, joyous road to travel. Like van Gogh, we too find ourselves in places of darkness and confusion more often than not. Sometimes, the yellow glow of grace is totally lacking— or, at least it seems that way. At other times it feels like a distant star we can barely make out in the heavens. Or, as in Starry Night, we are engulfed within it—  “the glory of God shown ‘round about them.”

This is the way it was meant to be. Our faith is worth very little if we only bask in the glory of God’s golden hues. But this world is a complication of darkness and light.  It is in those dark times, in turbulence & testing that the steel of our trust in Christ is proven.

But you already know that. What you must constantly keep before your vision is the reality that your strength must come from God and not merely from within (II Tim. 2:1). In times of deep tribulation, our strength will eventually give out, fade, and collapse. Therefore, it is much easier to rely on Christ’s strength from the very onslaught of trouble rather than to tack it on after our own wears out.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

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