In 1984 he became the youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery in the country. While working at John Hopkins Hospital, his accomplishments verified his position. He was able to perform the surgery that separated conjoined twins at the back of the head and he performed the first successful neurosurgical procedure on an infant in the womb. The list of his accomplishments just begins with those two breakthroughs. He was a healer. Dr. Ben Carson retired from Neurosurgery in 2013 after a long career of finding new and innovative ways to heal. In many cases, he was the surgeon of last resort.
Dr. Carson knows where his strength came from because of his commitment to Jesus Christ. Perhaps he thought he was following the footsteps of Jesus as a healer. Jesus was often the “healer of last resort.” Even the Romans knew about Jesus and sought Him out to care for their people. One day a centurion came to Jesus because his servant was paralyzed. He asked Jesus to heal the servant. In a short conversation, this centurion showed faith that amazed Jesus. “Jesus said to him, ‘Shall I come and heal him?’ The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.’” (Matthew 8:7-8)
As the story continues, Jesus praises the centurion’s faith, noting that many Jews don’t have that kind of faith. He also heals the centurion’s servant without going to him. There are two amazing lessons in this story. One is the miraculous healing power of Jesus. He was able to heal by touch, by word, and even by long distance methods. Man has sought to emulate the healing power of Jesus and, with God’s help, we have an amazing health care system today. We even have long distant robotic surgery which is a lifesaving procedure. Those who are truly wise in the medical field know that God is still the ultimate healer and seek His guidance as they work. The second amazing part of this story is the amazing faith of the centurion. He knew that Jesus could heal his servant. He recognized His authority and knew that he didn’t need to demand Jesus’ time. Even though Jesus offered to go to the servant, the centurion recognized his own unworthiness while, at the same time, he understood the power of Jesus.
I wonder how Jesus would describe my faith. I don’t think He would be amazed. Perplexed, perhaps. Amused, maybe. Maybe we would see Jesus doing a facepalm if someone asked about my faith. I’ve heard others talk about “laying out a fleece” while seeking God’s will and making that an instance of faith. If you really think about that idea, Gideon didn’t have faith when God told him to do something and he tested God’s command using the fleece twice. That wasn’t faith! How often does God lay an opportunity out before me and rather than responding by doing what He calls me to do, I use the time-honored phrase to avoid God’s command of “let me pray about it?” Today, somehow, some way, God is going to call on me – or you. When He calls, will we be ready to be obedient and act in faith or will we find a way to delay or deny the call of God in our life? Will I show the faith of the Roman centurion or the hesitancy of Gideon, a judge of Israel? The best way to be ready is to stay prepared and to be in tune with God all the time. I think that’s the reason for praying constantly.
Oh Lord, let me be ready for Your call today. When the opportunity arises, let me show the faith of this centurion and be ready to act on Your word.