God lifted up Assyria. He allowed their rulers to conquer the Israelites, to bring low those who had forgotten Him. He helped them to gain power and strength, to grow rich with the gold and plunder of the nations they had trampled. However, Assyria was not satisfied with just conquering those nations. The intentions of the leaders were to destroy the nations they had overtaken, including Israel. So, God stripped Assyria of its power.
This is the danger of pride: that we forget God. We forget that it is He who builds us up and lifts us high. It is His hand that has given us our intelligence, our strength, and our talents. It is He who has brought into our lives those people who have helped us along the way to our success. It is He who has protected us from our follies, sent the rain and the sunshine as needed, and equipped us to get to the point in life where we are today. The minute that we allow ourselves to forget that, the minute that we begin to take credit for successes that are not ours alone, is the minute that God begins to strip us of the glories we gained so that we can see just how dependent upon Him we truly are.
In my youth and foolish pride, I once put this to the test. Things seemed to be going well in my life. My husband and I were making more money than we'd ever made in our life. So, I decided that I didn't need God. After all, it was my skills, my talents, and my brains that had gotten me where I was in life, right? I stopped going to church, stopped praying, and started to walk away from the Church.
I thank God that He loved me enough not to let me go too far. In fact, within 4 months He began to strip me of everything. My job went from being a sure thing to being in doubt. My husband lost his job altogether and when he found another job just two weeks later, our car gave out the second day and he lost that one, too. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The highlight of it all was getting hit by a car crossing the street that November. I knew what God was telling me. He was reminding me that my life and everything I had belonged to Him and could be taken from me at any time. He was also reminding me that the time I had on this earth was not infinite. I needed to get it together and come back to Him while there was still time.
It's been almost five years since that day, and I haven't looked back. I am not perfect, and I do not always do a great job of giving God the credit that is His due, but I recognize that He is at the center of any success I have. I remember to thank Him not only in the good times but in the hard times, too, for I know that even in the worst of moments He is working for my ultimate good and His glory. I have learned gratitude, the only sure cure for a prideful heart.