For the last week I have been suffering from a severe case of trigeminal neuralgia. It is like being shot in the side of the face over and over again. It is painful. I’m pretty good at handling pain, but this has become more difficult than any other I have ever had. I’m not writing for sympathy; I’m writing about it to make a counseling point.

“What have you got in mind?”

Thanks for not getting all gooey over my problem.


The counseling matter about which I am concerned is one that is frequently encountered. It has to do with God’s faithfulness. I have asked God to remove the problem which I have now had on and off for a couple of years. Never has it been so severe or lasting as this time. But He has not yet (if ever He does) done so. Why doesn’t God answer my prayer?

“Ah! that’s a common problem for many of us—I thought God promises to answer His children’s prayers, doesn’t He?”

Yes, He does.

“Well, then . . .?”

He has answered.

“What? Thought you said He hasn’t taken the condition away. . . . .”

I did.

“Well, then . . .”

You see He answers different ways: “yes, no,” and “wait awhile.”

Often, as in Paul’s case when his prayers SEEMED answered it was “no.” You see, He had something better for Him:

  1. a way to guard against pride
  2. a larger supply of grace to handle problems better.

“Wow! I guess we shouldn’t complain, then, but we should look for the blessing in the refusal.”

You’ve got it! And it is possible that later on when this was done, He would see fit to remove the pain (consider the case of Job, for instance).