There’s a part in many washing machines called the agitator. It’s job is to…well…agitate. It does so by swishing back and forth, stirring up the water and detergent and clothes.
If it weren’t for this particular part, the clothes would never truly get clean. Filling up a tub with laundry, soap, and water, then letting the whole concoction sit still for an hour, won’t make them as spotless as you’d like. You have to shake things up–literally. It’s in this chaotic swirling that things are made right again, and your clothes come out as fresh as a spring rain.
Isn’t the same often true of our lives? We don’t like to be agitated, but it’s for our own good, because the opposite of agitation is stagnation. So many of us get bogged down in the same-old-same-old of everyday life that we feel like we’re standing still while the world around us is pressing forward.
Here’s the thing: The situations we lament as inconvenient obstacles are often God-given opportunities in disguise.
I was recently speaking to the students at my church, and I told them that good friends always tell the truth. Sometimes truth is painful to receive, but in the long run it makes us better. I used Jesus as an example, showing them how he constantly shared truths that, even to this day, pierce the hearts of men and women, revealing their sin and their need for a Savior.
Jesus’ words are agitating, because if they weren’t they wouldn’t benefit us. If he didn’t challenge our way of life, we wouldn’t have known there was a better way at all. He made us uncomfortable for a moment so we could experience eternal comfort with him later on.
So don’t just endure the agitations in your life, identify and embrace them! Ask God, “What do you want me to learn from all this?” Discomfort is a friend of progress, so if you want stop being stagnant you’ll have to start getting a little agitated.