NO ORDER OF DIFFICULTY
Back in 1980 when I first picked up the A Course in Miracles, I was struck by a very thought-provoking statement that I read on the first page which said:
“There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not ‘harder’ or ‘bigger’ than another. They are all the same.” T-1.I.1
Even though the calculating part of my brain said, “that cannot be true,” a higher part of my mind was impressed and sensed there may be some profound truth behind those words. I immediately wanted to know more.
Then on the next page I read this:
“Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both.” T-1.I.24
I have been involved in miracles where the sick were healed, but have never seen the dead brought back to life. Now sometimes people are revived from short periods where the heart is not beating, but how about the miracle Jesus performed where he revived Lazarus after he had been dead for over three days? Even his enemies considered that the greatest miracle of all because of perceived difficulty.
The Course says this: “Why is it strange to you that faith can move mountains? This is indeed a little feat for such a power.” T-21.III.3
Indeed, the Course makes it sound like raising the dead, moving mountains and other great works are the same level of difficulty as healing a headache.
I’ve done a lot of thinking on the idea that there is no order of difficulty with miracles and examined what ACIM says about it, so I’ll give you my thoughts.
In this world there certainly does appear to be an order of difficulty in almost everything, but according to the Course moving mountain or raising the dead should be no more difficult than taking a breath.
The question one might ask is this: If moving a mountain would be so easy then why has no one done it? Even Jesus did not move a mountain when he was here. And what if 1000 people (also Sons of God) did not want the mountain moved? Would the miracle of moving a mountain still be as easy as Jesus indicates?
If miracles are truly easy, then many would gladly stop wars, heal the sick in hospitals, stop child abuse and many other good things. Indeed, there seems to be something in the way which makes great miracles difficult for us.
What is it?’
The Course itself gives the answer.
“Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication.” T-1.III.4
And why do we need to ask which miracles we should perform? Again, the answer is in the Course:
“to will contrary to God is wishful thinking and not real willing. His Will is One because the extension of His Will cannot be unlike itself. The real conflict you experience, then, is between the ego’s idle wishes and the Will of God, which you share.” T-11.V.5
So, if you or I, as an individual on our own wish for a miracle or moving a mountain, or even something benevolent like healing a friend, all we are doing is participating in the wishful thinking of the ego. Instead, we are to:
“Leave, then, what seems to you to be impossible, to Him Who knows it must be possible because it is the Will of God.” T-15.VIII.6
So then, the Will of God is the missing factor that explains it all and makes clear that there is no order of difficulty in miracles.
Miracles are impossible if they are not within the Will of God, but if the miracle is in harmony with Divine Will, then it is not only possible, but easy.
The answer boils down to this. If you desire a miracle, ask to see if you have approval and seek to act “under direct communication.”
Once you have approval and are in communion with the Holy Spirit the only difficult thing may be your belief that you can be a part of it. If you accept, then performing the miracle will be easy, even if it were to involve moving a mountain.
So, why has no believer moved a mountain?
Obviously because it was not within the Will of God that such a thing be done
And why cannot we heal all the sick we desire?
The Course tells us their wrong thinking has caused their pain and that they must first correct their thinking. Divine will would only approve if there is some correction of thought involved.
Now we understand this principle behind miracles we can easily see why there is no order of difficulty in them. Let us look at two great miracles spoken of in the Bible of which would be considered to be a great order of difficulty to the average person.
The first is Moses parting the Red Sea. When the Israelites approached what seemed to be a dead end at the Red Sea Moses received permission from God to part it. After Moses knew he had approval was there any difficulty?
He merely spoke the words and the Red Sea parted with no effort at all on his part.
A second great miracle was that of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead for more than three days. The reason this was significant is because it was the Jewish belief that raising anyone from the dead after three days was impossible.
This miracle was to demonstrate that nothing is impossible with God. What is interesting is that Jesus followed the protocol mentioned in the Course. He received permission before he performed the miracle.
“Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 11:41-42
Jesus here acknowledged that God heard him and being in communion he knew he had permission and that raising Lazarus was within the will of God.
From this vantage point this great miracle was no more difficult than any other he performed. Next it is written:
“And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.” John 11:43-44
I have found this principle of being in harmony with the will of God to be essential in the work of miracles. There have been loved ones who I dearly wished to heal to which the Holy Spirit did not give permission. Then there have been other times I have had permission and indeed there was no order of difficulty.
We need to keep in mind though that there is one miracle that all of us have permission to perform and that is forgiveness. To forgive our brothers and sisters is always in harmony with Divine Will, but for many, the only difficult thing is deciding to do it and to let all grievances go.
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