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Ben Carson: My Personal Relationship With God

Ben Carson: My Personal Relationship With God

Gradually over the years, by regularly reading, studying, and depending on the advice in God’s Word, I’ve gained a more accurate picture of God. As a doctor and a scientist, the more I learn about creation and especially the human brain, the more impressed I am with how incredibly smart our Creator must be. I look through my operating microscope and marvel at the intricate complexities of creation inside a baby’s brain. Or I stand under the stars on a summer night, looking up at a universe made with such precision that you can set clocks by it.

I see evidence everywhere of a brilliant and logical God who is unbelievably loving. What else could possibly explain why the all-powerful Creator of the universe humbled Himself and came to earth to be spat upon, cursed, even beaten with a whip, before He was crucified and died on a cross for the very same people who did that to Him? A God that loving, instead of being quick to judge and anxious to condemn us for every little sin, is really an almost unimaginably forgiving God.

I finally realized that God’s first concern is not about whether we abide by His rules or deserve His grace and forgiveness. His priority is right relationships. This personal relationship is all God has wanted from us since the beginning of time.

It is what we were created for.

My relationship with God is like any other relationship in my life. How do I develop and maintain a personal relationship with any friend? We spend time together. I include Him in my life. We talk. In the process, I know him better and the relationship grows stronger.

And the more time we spend together, the closer we become.

Some friends become so close because of the experiences they’ve gone through together, they might not even need to speak to communicate with one another. A glance or an expression or a laugh conveys much between them. My relationship with God is a lot like that. First thing every morning when Candy and I pray and read the Bible, we spend time together with Him. We tell God the plans and concerns we have, and ask Him to be with us throughout the day. At night we thank Him for His presence, ask His forgiveness for any mistakes we’ve made, and read more from Proverbs.

When God inspired my parents to give me the middle name of Solomon, He must have known I would have a lifelong love for the book of Proverbs, which King Solomon wrote. I see the irony in the fact that Solomon, early in his reign, made his reputation for great wisdom when he settled a dispute between two women arguing over who was the rightful mother of a child by proposing they divide the baby in half. In my early career I too made a name for myself professionally by dividing babies — when we separated the Binder twins. So I feel an affinity for Solomon. I only wish I could be half as wise.

During the course of the day, I ask God to give me wisdom to use my talents well and to use the knowledge I have to provide me perspective, insight, understanding, and truth, particularly when difficult situations arise. I ask Him to give me the right words in hard or unpleasant conversations. I have prayed before and during every surgery.

God not only gives me those things, but also a confidence that what I am doing is right.

That confidence is contagious.

I need that kind of self-confidence to deal with the publicity that I have received at such an early age in a field like neurosurgery. It does not matter what you are doing in a field like this, if you achieve fame, some people invariably come along and accuse you of stealing their patients, of being hungry for publicity, or even of being a charlatan. At some time in our lives all of us have felt the sting of undeserved criticism — the point at which we can then say, “God, I am doing my best. Give me peace.” And God is always there with us.

You may wonder if my talking to God is a real, two-way conversation — if He talks back to me. Every time I read the Bible, I ask God to speak to me through it. And that regularly happens. I can’t count the number of times when I have read a verse that spoke directly to a situation I was facing or would face later in the day.

I recently heard the word conversation defined as communication intended to guide or direct each other’s thoughts. By this definition I have a lot of conversations with God. Most often He guides my thoughts through Scripture or speaks to me through others: a friend who calls with timely advice; a rejuvenating hug from a young patient on an exhausting day; or an encouraging smile from a colleague who just happens to walk by right when I need patience to deal with the person I’m talking to at the time.

Sometimes the messages are just reminders that God is there with me. But many times He gives a new thought, an insight, or an idea that I know I didn’t conjure up on my own. The Creator of the universe, who has demonstrated His love for me, who made me in His image, who designed my incredible brain, actually knows my mind and guides my thoughts.

God is central to my THINK BIG philosophy.

He is the source of all the Talents within us — and the revealer of talents, if we ask Him. He defines not just Honesty, but also right and wrong. God offers us Insight, wisdom, and truth, but He has also given us brains with huge frontal lobes so we can process, analyze, understand, and apply it.

God’s Golden Rule pretty well sums up what it means to be Nice, and Jesus had much to say about how we should treat others. God, the omniscient one, is the ultimate source of all Knowledge. And He’s glad to help when we turn to Him for the wisdom to use it. He is also the author of the bestselling Book of all time. More people have read the Bible and relied on it than any other book in history. Its timeless truths have never become outdated or irrelevant. Who else but an infinite God could help us discover and use In-Depth Learning?

God has given us everything we need to think big.

He is what ties it all together. So the better we know the One who designed our brains, the bigger and better we’ll be able to think. Because we cannot ever think bigger than God.

Excerpted with permission from You Have a Brain by Dr. Ben Carson, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

How do you interact with God throughout the day? Do you hear Him speaking back to you in various ways such as input from a friend right when you need it, or a smile when you’re in the middle of a challenge, or an impression or remembrance that carries you through? Come join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear about your personal relationship with Jesus! ~ Devotionals Daily