I’m working on a puzzle. It’s an image from a Thomas Kinkade painting, and, like most of his artwork, it’s a lovely landscape scene. This one happens to be an old gazebo nestled in a garden in full spring bloom. There are multitudes of flowers, blossoms, and lush green grass, and the sky is a gentle grey. The image is full of awakening life, and there is such softness about it. It’s beautiful, and if it were a real place I could get to, I would spend many long hours in the gazebo, just resting and drinking in the beauty.

But life is so jam-packed and stressful, and I barely have time to sit and catch my breath. Every time I look at the unfinished puzzle, I yearn a little bit more to somehow find a way to enter its soft, gentle world and just sit. Wear my pajamas; maybe bring a book or sketchbook. Do nothing. Rest all day.

It makes me contemplate the purpose of beauty. It isn’t meant to be bought and sold and put on a shelf to admire. Instead, it’s something we become immersed in and filled with. True beauty makes the heart rest. This painting of a gazebo tucked away in a garden makes my heart rest. And that’s why I pour hours into my puzzle, allowing myself to escape into it and let its tender beauty soothe me.

In your busy life, when you feel strained and exhausted and ready to break, pause a moment and allow yourself to rest. Go find beauty that God so lovingly placed in our world and let it fill and restore your soul—whether it’s sitting in a garden, listening to music, cooking, reading, walking, praying, or doing a puzzle. Find the life that God offers through the beauty of his creation, and let it bring your heart to rest.

by Jensine Coles


“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.” Psalm 23:1-2

Dear Lord, help me find beauty in this chaotic world, and show me how to rest deeply in it so my soul may be restored.

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