There are days when you’re just in the zone. You’re creative, you’re productive, you’re efficient, you’re energetic.
Then there are those days when you feel like you’re banging your head up against a wall. Nothing’s working out. Nothing’s flowing. Productivity grinds to a halt.
Could this lack of productivity be God’s discipline?
Productivity Comes from God
God is the one that blesses our efforts and resources. He is the ultimate giver of success.
Christ fed thousands with just a few loaves and fishes. God multiplied the resources of a poor widow to provide for her and her family.
Likewise, God frustrates the plans of the wicked. He halts the rain when idolatrous leaders rule.
And in a particularly powerful example, God reduces the productivity of the Israelites when they don’t make him the proper priority in their lives:
“You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.” (Haggai 1:6)
The Reason for Discipline
So it makes sense to me that a lack of productivity could be one of the ways that God mercifully disciplines us. He zaps our energy and zeal. He muddles our thinking.
Perhaps this is his way of convicting us to deal with a certain sin in our lives. There’s a good chance, by the way, that this sin could be in a totally different area from our work – such as our relationships or thought lives.
Perhaps we’ve put too much emphasis on our accomplishments. Perhaps we’re drifting too far into the realm of personal pride in our work.
The Temptation to Get Back to Business
How we respond is, of course, crucial.
We’ll be tempted to “just deal with this sin” so we can hurry up and get back to where God is blessing our efforts. It’s easy for our focus to be on restoring our energy and efficiency instead of really becoming more holy. God becomes a roadblock we get rid of by appeasing.
(This is particularly true when we’re not really convicted of the horrid nature of our sin.)
God’s Discipline is Merciful
Instead, let us take the time to ask God to show us what he wants us to learn.
And be thankful for the disciplining hand of God.
I’m quite grateful when God uses something as insignificant as writer’s block to get to me – I’ll take that over cancer, job loss, or severe pain any day. Our loving sanctifier doesn’t use any more pressure than is necessary.
Photo Credit: photosteve 101 (Creative Commons)
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