Saturday, March 24, 2012

What Do I Want

I knew Vincent van Gogh as the crazy artist who cut off his ear.  We studied him in my 5th grade art class and I had made up my mind about him.  That is, until Dr. McDuffee introduced him to us in our Christianity and Western Culture course.  He presented van Gogh in a whole new light, and now I cannot help but love him.

Vincent van Gogh and his brother, Theo van Gogh, corresponded through many letters while living apart from one another.  These letters are available online and reading through them is something more than a pleasure!  Van Gogh has a stunning heart for the Lord and expresses his love for Jesus so beautifully through his letters to Theo.

In one of Vincent's letters to Theo he says, "I'm still a long way from being what I'd like to be, but with God's help I'll succeed."  Have you ever felt that way?  I feel like that most days.  However, I'm trying to get to the place where I don't let my feeling of not being what I'd like to be paralyze me.  Instead I want that feeling to be grounded in the hope that "with God's help I'll succeed."   I want to remember His promises throughout Scripture that He will finish the good work He has started in us (Philippians 1:6).  Van Gogh was able to beautifully express what was his heart's desire.  Here is a glimpse of van Gogh's heart along with some of my Spring Break pictures.

"What do I want---to be bound to Christ with unbreakable bonds

and to feel those bonds.

To be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.

To live in and for Christ, to be one of the poor in His kingdom,

leavened with the leaven, inspired by His Spirit, constrained by His love,

resting in the Father with that rest of which I spoke in my last letter.

To become one who cannot rest in anything but in Him,

who desires nothing on earth beside Him,

and who lives in the Love of God and of Christ,

in whom we are intimately bound with one another." 

I'm so grateful that Dr. McDuffee shared this side of van Gogh with us.  We can learn so much by reading the thoughts of people that went before us.  There are so many such treasures waiting to be found!

I hope you are encouraged today with the hope that though none of us has quite arrived at the place we want to be, God has not (and will not) quit on us.  As we learn "to be bound with Christ with unbreakable bonds", we will get closer to the place we are longing for and will find deeper rest in the Father.  With God's help, we will succeed!

May you live in the Love of God and of Christ today!

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