Affliction before greatness. First, you need silence.

But wait, there’s more.

Bowed down to the earth with grief, tears spattering the polished floor of a foreign palace, the kings’s cupbearer does what seems counter-intuitive.

He doesn’t struggle to rise. He bows lower.

“Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee. . .”

(Nehemiah 1:6)

Does that sound familiar?

I’m hearing Daniel’s famous prayer ringing in my hears. . . The one that started an extra-terrestrial battle that lasted for weeks. The prophecy that clinched all Messianic prophecies.

I’m also hearing the gentle voice of the poet-king Solomon, who twice in the space of three chapters of his bestselling collection of Proverbs declared, “Before honor is humility.”

But what in the wide world does humility have to do with productivity?

Not sure I know. . .

Maybe it’s a “credit where credit is due” thing?

Or maybe. . . (and maybe. . . )

Maybe it is that before a man can accomplish anything at all, he must be filled.

And before a man can be filled, he must be emptied.

Yeah, that’s it.

Affliction before greatness.
First, you need silence.
Then, you need humility.