Ben Carson, shared a story in his book, Think Big. He said a devout Christian couple, Neil and Carol Pylant who have been praying faithfully to God for a child, finally was blessed with a son, whom they named Christopher. From earliest childhood, Christopher loved stories about Jesus and other biblical heroes. He started quoting Bible verses from memory as soon as he was able to to string words together into sentences.
When Christopher was four, tragedy struck, he began to weave and stumble. His parents noticed other abnormal behavior such as his difficulty in handling his secretions, almost to the point of foaming at the mouth. Then he developed double vision. When first examined by doctors in Atlanta where they lived, they considered that he might have encephalitis or another type of inflammation of the brain. After extensive investigations by several doctors, they turned to Emory University Hospital, where doctors concluded that Christopher had a malignant tumor of the brain stem, an inoperable condition and the only option was to take him home, make him as comfortable as possible and wait to die.
But Christopher’s parent didn’t accept the verdict and believed firmly in God to heal their son. They had an unwavering faith in God to heal their son. The Pylants took young Christopher to several medical centers, all of which offered the same diagnosis but they kept the faith. They contacted faith healers across the United States. Anyone they heard of who could heal the sick, they wrote to, phone, or visited. Meanwhile, Christopher continued to deteriorate.
The Pylants felt impressed to bring Christopher to John Hopkins Hospital and that was where they met Dr. Ben Carson. Neil said, “We prayed for God to lead us to a Christian neurosurgeon who could help our boy.” though they had not heard of Dr. Ben Carson before. Dr. Carson examined Christopher and his verdict was the same, Christopher’s condition wasn’t one that an operation could cure and there was nothing he could do about it. The conviction of the parents that God will heal their son, grew stronger and they insisted that God is going to use Dr. Ben Carson to heal their son.
Christopher’s condition got worse by day but the parents faith grew. Their insistence, pressure, and unwavering faith got to Dr. Carson and he decided to try another option on Christopher which also proved futile but the parents still believed God will heal their son and He will do that through Dr. Carson. At this point, though the parents’ faith were admirable, it began to look insane. The doctors couldn’t do anything again for Christopher so they expected his condition to deteriorate and probably die in the hospital but something happened.
Christopher began to get better; his level of alertness improved, both eyes started to focus in the same direction, the difficulty with secretions disappeared, and he moved more in his bed. It was a surprise to the doctors especially Dr. Carson. Another scan was done on Christopher and the large horrible tumor was still there but inspecting clearly, Dr. Carson saw a small ribbon of tissue in one of the corners, a probable brain stem, which was impossible but the only way to find out was to go back in the brain, another surgery.
Dr. Carson went back to the operating room, buoyed by the confidence that there was a ribbon of brain stem, he started sucking away tumor tissue. Eventually he saw the ribbon of brain tissue stem intact and could hardly believe what he had discovered. Christopher started to get better and as part of the medical procedure, he had to go through radiation or chemotherapy but the parents protested, insisting that the Lord has healed their son and doesn’t need any of that. This time Dr. Carson readily agreed. Christopher was discharged some few days later very healthy.
This is why I shared the story, among the team of doctors that treated Christopher, was a long time atheist who never saw any need for God. Months after Christoper was discharged, the neuro-oncologists (Atheist) said to Dr. Ben Carson, “You May not understand what’s happened to me, Ben. The faith of those people and the results on that boy have had a profound effect on me. The incident changed my thinking”. And that was how the Atheist opened up to God.
The one who benefited the most from the pain of Christopher was the Atheist, everything Christopher had to go through was meant for just this one Atheist, he was the big picture of Christopher’s plight.
God will go to every extent to reach out to and love both the saved and the unbeliever. You can disregard Him all you want but He loves you the same. There is nothing we will ever do that will make Him love us less. God will sometimes use the believer as His message to the dying world. It might not come as the conventional method of preaching the Gospel you know, but surely what the unbeliever needs to be saved.
Like the Pylants, God will require your family, a portion of your time, your life, etc. just to give you an experience that will save someone, your experience is always part of a bigger picture. It might cost you but it is just for a moment and He always restore. Our afflictions, as the Bible says, is but for a moment and produce exceeding weight of glory.
Since the day Christopher left the hospital, he has never returned sick. He is healthier than when he was healthy, never to be sick again and now a minister of the Gospel. The Gospel is being preached everyday through our experiences and interactions with people. I hope you will be one, through whom It will be preached perfectly.