Days Off and Holy Unrest

By April 3, 2018featured

This Easter has been peaceful and fantastic. We had made plans for the holiday, but due to heavy snowfall in the South of Norway we were not able to go as planned. So, we enjoyed our days off at home, just going on day trips in the region. We’ve had long meals. Slow-cooked elk roast with root vegetables. Desserts. These things that we hardly ever make time for in our daily life. Spring finally arrived at the Norwegian West coast, and we braced the cold temperatures, making the most out of the long-awaited sunrays. We rested. And pondered. Talked. We reflected. Envisioned. Spoke into being.

Days off are important.

While you are resting, your body is recharging and your spirit soaring. You let go of the nitty-gritty of life and allow yourself to rise above. Instead of problem-solving, you dare to dream. What were the longings that you parked somewhere desolate? When did you last aim for something beyond your immediate reach?

Days off are scary.

Once the hamster wheel comes to a halt, you may end up wanting a change. A do-over. Or maybe you determine that you’ll finally push open that door in front of you. You know, the one that’s slightly ajar? What if you just leaned into it?  What would happen if you stepped into the unknown? How would your life change if you stepped out of your comfort zone?

Days off may hurt.

Discovering that there’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be can be painful. As we drift through life, we put off examining our life choices and preferences until it’s convenient… which is a euphemism for ‘never’. A friend of mine said, “I hate the holidays! That’s when I’m forced to face that my life has not changed much for the last 5 years. My prayers are the same, even after all this time. What I longed for back then is still missing. I hate it!”

It’s easier to pretend that everything’s fine, even when it’s not. The days off tend to unmask the make-believe, inviting the long-lost hope to resurface. Do you still want to nourish those dreams? Or have they paved way for bigger dreams to call upon your name?

The holy unrest

‘Be still and know that I am God…’  This wonderful verse from Psalm 46 speaks of the King of kings who will be fighting our battles. We are to rest, to sing our souls to peace and quiet our minds. As we rest, his name is exalted. All his enemies are defeated as he reigns victoriously.

It’s true. He’s God. I’m not. He fights my battles. I shall rest. After all, who of us can add one cubit to his stature by worrying?

And still… there’s the holy unrest.

When you’ve come to the still waters and green pastures and you know you’re not staying.

When the table is set before you and you hear his voice saying that your food is to do the will of the one who sent you.

You watch the waves jump the gunwale, recognizing that he is challenging you not to withdraw to the bottom boards for the illusory safety, but rather to step out of the boat and onto the raging waters.

Boldly. Bravely. Moving forward.
In the right direction.


The Passion Translation beautifully unwraps the words of Psalm 46:

With rest comes the holy unrest. Not always, but sometimes. This restlessness that you are sensing, could that be God telling you that you are headed in a new direction?

Slow down and take in the view. What does it look like? Has the season changed? What changes do you need to make in this new season of your life?

I like comfort.

I really do. I thoroughly enjoy not hurting. That is, until I don’t. If I get too comfortable I have to challenge myself. Not by committing sports, diets or murder, but by stepping out of my comfort zone and risking major failure. I call it masochism. My husband calls it a willingness to suffer. His version sounds more biblical, but it’s more or less the same – at least in this context!

Truth is, I know that if I don’t challenge myself, I’ll wither and die. We push through. That’s how we live, grow and thrive.

I’d rather do it my way, though – at my pace, when I want to. But then there’s Jesus… He has this thing called perfect timing. Annoying, I know. But then again, he’s God and I’m not.

So, here I am… giving into my holy unrest. Stepping over the gunwale. Trusting his timing. Surrendering my anxiety. Telling my mind what my heart already knows to be true:

He won’t let me down.



Want to learn more about how to go from one season to another? Check this out:

Navigating Through Seasons


Author Marian Nygard

I live in Norway with my husband, Thomas. Together we have four children. We are passionate about words, music, thankfulness and fun, not necessarily in that order. In addition to being an author, I love to tell stories and I am constantly looking for God’s fingerprint in everyday life.

More posts by Marian Nygard

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.