All things are lessons God would have me learn.
1. God does not know of learning. ²Yet His Will extends to what He does not understand, in that He wills the happiness His Son inherited of Him be undisturbed; eternal and forever gaining scope, eternally expanding in the joy of full creation, and eternally open and wholly limitless in Him. ³That is His Will. ⁴And thus His Will provides the means to guarantee that it is done.
Jesus tells us some very important things in this short paragraph. First, God does not know of learning. This is true, of course, since God has all knowledge, what is there to learn? But in our present state, we put ourselves in an impossible situation in which we do need to learn. This need is answered as well. His Will extends to that which He does not understand. We are covered because of the nature of creation. Whatever is created is eternal and eternally perfect as it is created. His will for us is happiness and that our happiness is undisturbed.
I love the way he describes what is true for us. We are forever gaining scope. I looked that up and found that gaining scope means we are forever extending our range, our breadth, our reach. And we are doing so in the joy of full creation. Even as we dream of being human, we remain wholly limitless in God. Because it is His Will that this is so. Let your mind rest on this aspect of yourself and realize this is you right now. You remain unaware of this only because you have focused your attention almost entirely on the story of a world to the exclusion of reality. You are lost in your fantasies. And all along you remain as you were created, perfectly safe in God, joyfully creating.
2. God sees no contradictions. ²Yet His Son believes he sees them. ³Thus he has a need for One Who can correct his erring sight, and give him vision that will lead him back to where perception ceases. ⁴God does not perceive at all. ⁵Yet it is He Who gives the means by which perception is made true and beautiful enough to let the light of Heaven shine upon it. ⁶It is He Who answers what His Son would contradict, and keeps his sinlessness forever safe.
God doesn’t see contradictions. This is because God doesn’t perceive; He Knows. The Mind of God is perfectly serene with all aspects in agreement. This is not true for us because we perceive and perception is not truth, it reflects how we see something and that might be accurate or not. Though God does not believe in the contradictions, He sees our need for correction and we are given the Answer Who will lead us back to where perception ceases.
3. These are the lessons God would have you learn. ²His Will reflects them all, and they reflect His loving kindness to the Son He loves. ³Each lesson has a central thought, the same in all of them. ⁴The form alone is changed, with different circumstances and events; with different characters and different themes, apparent but not real. ⁵They are the same in fundamental content. ⁶It is this:
⁷Forgive, and you will see this differently.
4. Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness. ²Yet that is the content underneath the form. ³It is this sameness which makes learning sure, because the lesson is so simple that it cannot be rejected in the end. ⁴No one can hide forever from a truth so very obvious that it appears in countless forms, and yet is recognized as easily in all of them, if one but wants to see the simple lesson there.
When our lives are difficult and the challenges great, there is an ego temptation to believe we are guilty and God is punishing us for that guilt. There might be a temptation to beg for relief of that which upsets us. When things are going well, many people thank God for the smooth waters they find themselves in, not consciously aware that in doing so, they are reinforcing the belief that God is intimately manipulating their dream world, sometimes in their favor and sometimes cruelly.
Of course, none of this is true. All that is happening is that you are making decisions continually, and sometimes these decisions cause an effect that you come to regret. Some of your decisions bring you closer to God and some block the awareness of God. It is your decisions that set up the lessons that God would have you learn. He loves you very much and he wants you to be happy so He provided the Holy Spirit to be the Answer to all your problems.
In answering your problems, the Holy Spirit teaches you that while the form changes with each problem, the actual lesson is always the same; it is some form of unforgiveness. When we become consistent in receiving the answers we need from the Holy Spirit, this becomes apparent and we start solving every problem with forgiveness. This solution is not generally accepted right away, though we would save many years of suffering if we would accept it, and eventually, we will because it is the only solution that works.
When I was married and my husband seemed to be my problem, I suffered a lot because I was turning to the ego for that answer. But eventually, I reached the limit of the suffering I was willing to endure. So, I asked the Holy Spirit to heal me and I forgave my husband, my marriage, the relationship, and myself. We are friends now and he is happily married to someone else, and I am happily unmarried.
When I left him, I was afraid to be on my own, afraid of not having enough money and not being able to take care of the things that he used to take care of. I worried about this until I got tired of this form of suffering and turned to the Holy Spirit Who told me to forgive. And so, I forgave my fear of loss and lack, and my fear that I was alone and not cared for. I discovered that I was fine, and could do quite well on my own.
My work was centered around relationships and I was never very good at relationships. I had a steep learning curve but I was mine and my son’s sole provider so I had to overcome my fear and do what needed doing. I just didn’t feel capable so after suffering from this anxiety a while, I remembered to turn to the Holy Spirit for my answer.
He told me to forgive my fears about relationships and just love each person. When the relationship seemed difficult, He told me to forgive and love. No matter what was going on, the answer was always the same. As a result, I formed close relationships with my customer and with my co-workers, even the ones that began as contentious relationships.
What I have discovered is that I make my own classrooms with the decisions I make, but that God would use them as lessons that He would have me learn. I also learned that the answer was always some form of forgiveness which meant that the problems were always the same problem even though they looked very different.
5. Forgive, and you will see this differently.
²These are the words the Holy Spirit speaks in all your tribulations, all your pain, all suffering regardless of its form. ³These are the words with which temptation ends, and guilt, abandoned, is revered no more. ⁴These are the words which end the dream of sin, and rid the mind of fear. ⁵These are the words by which salvation comes to all the world.
6. Shall we not learn to say these words when we are tempted to believe that pain is real, and death becomes our choice instead of life? ²Shall we not learn to say these words when we have understood their power to release all minds from bondage? ³These are words which give you power over all events that seem to have been given power over you. ⁴You see them rightly when you hold these words in full awareness, and do not forget these words apply to everything you see or any brother looks upon amiss.
Every problem I have forgiven has disappeared. Every one of them. And yet, there are some few problems that I have not forgiven and that is beyond foolish. I am grateful to be reminded through this lesson that forgiveness is the answer in every case. I have some physical pain that I forgive. Pain and suffering are not of God and therefore do not exist. I choose to forgive the idea that there is any value in pain and suffering and watch it disappear. I am done dreaming of sin.
7. How can you tell when you are seeing wrong, or someone else is failing to perceive the lesson he should learn? ²Does pain seem real in the perception? ³If it does, be sure the lesson is not learned. ⁴And there remains an unforgiveness hiding in the mind that sees the pain through eyes the mind directs.
This is an excellent clue! Does pain seem real in the perception? My physical pain seems real to me and so I am seeing it wrong. This is why I know that I need to forgive this. As long as the pain lasts, the lesson has not been learned. The lesson, or another form of that lesson will hang around until it is learned. I can become the spiritual detective if I want to. I can look for the root cause of the error, or I can journal with Jesus until I get to the source of the problem. Sometimes the answer shows itself in the lesson or in some course I am taking. But one thing is certain, if I truly desire healing, what is needed will show up.
8. God would not have you suffer thus. ²He would help you forgive yourself. ³His Son does not remember who he is. ⁴And God would have him not forget His Love, and all the gifts His Love brings with it. ⁵Would you now renounce your own salvation? ⁶Would you fail to learn the simple lessons Heaven’s Teacher sets before you, that all pain may disappear and God may be remembered by His Son?
9. All things are lessons God would have you learn. ²He would not leave an unforgiving thought without correction, nor one thorn or nail to hurt His holy Son in any way. ³He would ensure his holy rest remain untroubled and serene, without a care, in an eternal home which cares for him. ⁴And He would have all tears be wiped away, with none remaining yet unshed, and none but waiting their appointed time to fall. ⁵For God has willed that laughter should replace each one, and that His Son be free again.
Maybe you don’t realize the depth of your Creator’s love for you. I didn’t and still, I have not plumbed those depths. But I accept He does love me and that He wants the best for me. He wants me to be supremely happy. So in each of these classrooms I find myself in because of decisions I made, I remember that God knows me as He created me, so, that must be what I am. I forgive my mistaken identity and accept His to the best of my ability.
10. We will attempt today to overcome a thousand seeming obstacles to peace in just one day. ²Let mercy come to you more quickly. ³Do not try to hold it off another day, another minute or another instant. ⁴Time was made for this. ⁵Use it today for what its purpose is. ⁶Morning and night, devote what time you can to serve its proper aim, and do not let the time be less than meets your deepest need.
11. Give all you can, and give a little more. ²For now we would arise in haste and go unto our Father’s house. ³We have been gone too long, and we would linger here no more. ⁴And as we practice, let us think about all things we saved to settle by ourselves, and kept apart from healing. ⁵Let us give them all to Him Who knows the way to look upon them so that they will disappear. ⁶Truth is His message; truth His teaching is. ⁷His are the lessons God would have us learn.
Jesus knows we are ready to up our game. He is strongly encouraging us to give the time and attention to this lesson that it deserves. We can make great strides today if we take this seriously and use it as often as we can. Here is something I used to do and that I am going to do again today. I am writing the lesson on my palm so that I will see it every time I look at my hand. This is a reflection of my decision to forgive and it is a visible reminder that I have made that decision.
12. Each hour, spend a little time today, and in the days to come, in practicing the lesson in forgiveness in the form established for the day. ²And try to give it application to the happenings the hour brought, so that the next one is free of the one before. ³The chains of time are easily unloosened in this way. ⁴Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it. ⁵Thus will you remain unbound, in peace eternal in the world of time.
13. This is the lesson God would have you learn: There is a way to look on everything that lets it be to you another step to Him, and to salvation of the world. ²To all that speaks of terror, answer thus:
³I will forgive, and this will disappear.
⁴To every apprehension, every care and every form of suffering, repeat these selfsame words. ⁵And then you hold the key that opens Heaven’s gate, and brings the Love of God the Father down to earth at last, to raise it up to Heaven. ⁶God will take this final step Himself. ⁷Do not deny the little steps He asks you take to Him.
So very little is asked of me. I will not fail to do my part. And as I go through my day if I get distracted and forget my purpose, I will forgive and let that idea go so that the next hour is free of the one before. If I notice thoughts in my mind that I don’t believe, I will let them slide harmlessly away, completely forgiven. I am using the day to move closer to salvation and thus to saving the world.