Not just our “heavenly” father
“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God whose dwelling is holy.”
From skull basher to brain healer
Fourteen-year-old Ben was on the fast track to prison. The African-American youth had no father, was failing every class at school, and had a ferocious temper. He once tore open a classmate’s forehead with a rock and even threatened his own mother with a hammer.
But instead of ending up in prison, Ben landed in a hospital — one of the most prestigious in the world. Today he is Dr. Ben Carson, chief pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. How did he turn his life around?
The first person to stop Ben’s one-way trip to prison was his mother. She took him to church and turned off the TV. She made him read several books a week and write reports on them.
But his mother couldn’t control Ben’s terrible temper. One day he became outraged at another boy and tried to stab him in the abdomen, but the blade struck the boy’s belt buckle and broke. Suddenly Ben realized what he was doing. Horrified, he ran home, locked himself in the bathroom, and fell to his knees. “Lord,” he prayed, “I cannot control this temper. It’s up to you — I’m giving it over to you.”
Ben spent three hours closed in the bathroom, wrestling with God in prayer and Scripture meditation. When he finally emerged, his temper was gone — never to return.
As Carson describes in his autobiography, Gifted Hands, in that cataclysmic experience, he realized how God could actually be the father he had lacked — “a father to the fatherless.”
Adapted from How Now Shall We Live? Devotional by Charles Colson (Tyndale) pp 567-68
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House