At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Daniel 4:34-37
We do not know exactly how long it took Nebuchadnezzar to realize that God is in control but the king eventually acknowledged God and his reason was restored and so too was his kingdom. Once again Nebuchadnezzar was on his throne but with a renewed since of his place in the universe. No longer did he feel he was the ultimate king. You do not have to be a king to suffer from to vice of excess pride. Each of us at one time or another fall victim to the god pride.
When it comes to pride, I was and sometimes still am at the head of the class or to quote Paul the chief sinner. I would look at what I had done and take too much pleasure in my accomplishments. When you are infected with pride it becomes hard to admit you are wrong or have made a mistake. God has a cure for pride and He will humble you especially when pride gets in the way of serving Him. For me it was the onset of ulcerative colitis at the rather advanced age of 49.
It is hard to be prideful when you no longer have complete control of you bowels. After all most two year olds are potty trained and rarely have accidents. Here I was at 49 racing to a bathroom and sometime not quite making it. Whenever I entered a building the first thing I would do is scout out where the restrooms were. I knew just about every public restroom from my house to my place of work. I also knew that I could no longer depend on my own ability. Suddenly I was in almost constant contact with God. Now I admit that most of my prayers we of the order “Lord help me make it to the next bathroom and let there be an empty stall” but any contact leads to a deeper relationship with God. When we stop leaning on or own abilities and lean on God things change.
That change though may not be quick or at least as quick as we would like. I suffered from colitis for three years with good time and bad interspersed. But it was through this illness that I feel I came to a closer and new relationship with God. As I was going through my illness one thing that did not cross my mind was that I would be grateful for it but that is exactly how I feel today. My illness caused my focus to change from what I could do to what God can do.
Today my colitis has been in remission for over six years. It is still with me and on occasion will let me know it still lurks. I am one of the blessed as many people who suffer from colitis never go into remission and have their onset much earlier in life often in their teens. I still have an annual colonoscopy in order to catch any problems early and I often joke that I have more pictures of my colon than my face but that is a small price to pay for what I gained.
When we walk in pride we squeeze God out of our lives even when we profess to be His. God however will not be denied. He will get our attention one way or another. For those who are stubborn like me sometime God needs to use drastic measure. He does it not to punish but to bring us back to Him. He does it to save.
Have a blessed day,