The House of Many Mansions
There are tests of patience all round. For some these tests are greater than others, but everyone has to meet and contend with irritation in some form or other. So try and build up firmer conditions for the future.
Think of the Lord's own words: "In My Father's house there are many mansions." This simple phrase can be taken in several ways and most of them are quite correct. You must remember that the Christ always looked at things with the big broad view, never the narrow restricted one of the physical mind. When He gave that reassurance He was not only speaking of a happiness which is prepared for everyone when they leave the physical body, but He was also referring almost more directly to the Mind of God; the Father's house representing the Mind of the Father.
God, being God, is not limited in any way whatsoever in His outlook over the earth and His children upon it. The same applies to those countless millions in the realms of the spirit and in the planes of darkness where, sad to say, many still wander absolutely averse to turning their eyes towards the open gate and freedom.
If God were like even the best man or woman in your world, then it would be impossible for Him to be the Father of all. However broadminded someone may be, unconsciously the physical mind runs on a carefully thought out route. The result of meditation and putting this conception of things into definite order so that they may know where they stand. This is a very good thing to do. But the fact remains that you directly start to think in a groove, however pleasant or beautiful that groove may be by your own planting, and it is impossible to take in the point of view of others who are thinking on opposite lines entirely.
Now and again when you come to a nasty bit of the road the physical mind puts up a very big fight indeed. It occurs with nearly everyone, not just undeveloped characters or those who think they have no faith. Even with the most advanced, with those whose faith has been tested again and again. Here and there a rough piece of road is met with cries of anguish, which are wrung from them in spite of all their past experience.
Although these intervals from being under the direct light of God occur, the mere fact that you are conscious of darkness does not prove that light has been removed. It is a curious thing how easily His children doubt the love and protection of their Maker. It is strange because you know so much about that Love. But appearances belie the very words you read, for appearances are very often masks put there by the evil to hide the good beneath.
Yet "In My Father's house there are many mansions" and each one of these represents His understanding of the multitude of points of view of His children. No one comes under the general rule; general rules do not exist on the Spirit side; they are most dangerous. Everyone is understood by a separate portion or compartment of the Mind of God. He does not take your actions and your thoughts and compare them with those of someone else. He does not think that if one is able to do something then another should to be able to as well. He does not say to you that because others have suffered more than you that you should be more courageous. But He does say that if you kept a little closer to Him you would find it easier. “Your spirit is venturesome; it is out to do a very great deal and, of course, I am on the side of the spirit and I must not encourage you to sin against it". This demonstrates something of the Christ's attitude towards your troubles at this stage. But because He is on the side of the spirit that does not mean that He fails to understand the struggles of the physical. Far from that! Because He understands so well He wishes so much that you could hold His Hand tight and that He might not only be on the side of the spirit, but attract the physical to be on that side too. It can be done, not easily, of course, because it is one of the special lessons in the training for the higher life!
Do not go back on the old way of thinking again, if you can help it. When things seem so overwhelming it is possible for you to promise, without any provision, that you will not hurt yourself so much again. The old way of thinking, the old life, the old sad thoughts, these are worn out. They are not wanted now. They appear like some unpleasant spectre on the bright horizon which is the future for all who have gathered together to help in God’s work. Sad thoughts are not easy to conquer. Memories, bitter memories, are harder still. Suffering, especially physical suffering, has a way of sending its echoes back again from the past into the present, and that too is weakening to those who wish to climb.
It is entirely for your own sake that you must separate yourself from the dark cloud of unhappy memories. It grieves the Spirits too. But in God’s work the only grief that can strike is that which erects barriers between them and those they love who are still in the flesh. To those in the Spirit World it matters a very great deal that you should be happy, not just resigned. That is a very poor sort of happiness; in fact, it is the sibling of sadness itself. They want you to be happy. But how can you be happy when everything is against you. Even with everything against you sometimes you are conscious of a very great happiness indeed, as though, all unconsciously, you had strolled into a garden of brightness. There you stretch yourself and allow the soft breezes to play upon your wings. You are happy then, and you ask yourself why. Then the thought comes that you shall probably pay for it tomorrow. It is not easy to explain. Those short periods of happiness are gifts from God to try and prepare you in a small way for the real happiness that lies waiting for you at the appointed time. Unless the contrast came you would not know it was happiness, because it would be your natural environment. Something that is there as a matter of course is seldom prized. You see that all around you in daily life. But you must remember that it is often not the happiness of the spirit, but rather satisfaction of the physical.
You are conscious very often of separation from Him, or what you have learnt to recognise as the Christ. But nothing, nothing, can separate you from the Divine Love which the Father gives so freely. Sorrow, pain, and disappointment cut into your impression of what a Father's love should be like. You find it hard to reconcile the anguish that these things bring with the understanding Mind and Compassionate heart of the Father. It is not possible to explain how these two things can be reconciled in a most minute way. Yet God is Love, and God's Love is around you now and forever more. Nothing can pierce that Love; nothing can weaken it or do anything to it, for with each moment of time it grows stronger and brighter and more wonderful.
Even your bitterest thoughts are understood by the Spirits. Even when your physical mind turns from them as from one who strikes without cause they understand completely. They knew that it would be so from the beginning and are not even surprised. But they are saddened that you should suffer so. They wish they could do more. When you pass into the Spirit World you will find that their power was infinitely greater and more extended than you had any idea of. Then you will not wonder why they didn't do more, but marvel at the grace which came from God that allowed them to do so much.
The promises of the past appear as proof. Those promises even now are being worked out in such a wonderful way that only God could think of. When they come to pass they will have exacted a certain price. Do not forget the toll taken. But in their coming all remembrance of the sorrow and the weariness and the waiting will be forgotten. In that time you will look back and marvel that the preparation took such heavy toll. That is the position of all who have reached the edge of the dark forest. Fearsome, winding and dangerous, it appeared then. But when you stand on the bright road of happiness, if you wish, you will be able to look back and see that the path you travelled was not a maze, but led you straight to your heart's desire. The windings were in your imagination only, and it is those windings that have brought so much suffering.
You cannot scold anyone who has been mentally ill; it would be too cruel. You always unconsciously suggest to their minds that today they are a little better and tomorrow will be better still. And they are, especially with illnesses of this kind. One bad day, or one bad week, and then the turn comes. One fine morning and the scene is changed; new hope, new courage, and the rising up again of faith. That faith had only been struck down by the owner; it was not destroyed or even damaged. Except for the time being it lay like a flower level with the earth. You cannot kill faith! It has to stand many storms and many buffetings which make it seem rather weak. But that weakness is purely a delusion. The weak cannot stand storms and buffetings; only the strong. To say that faith has disappeared, or that faith is very weak, is a misrepresentation of facts. For the time being it is pressed rather close to the earth. But the first bit of sunshine makes it rear itself upright again, and each time it so raises itself, it is getting stronger, not weaker. If it were growing weaker the time would come very soon when it would be powerless to separate itself from the earth.
There is much to teach you and the time is all too short; so much which would explain to your physical mind the need for the present discipline and training, which appears so severe. Yet you must remember that when you were given explanations in the past they have satisfied the physical mind only for a short time. When the next "blow" comes that instruction is forgotten by the physical mind, but never forgotten by the spirit. Even without these explanations the spirit would get the upper hand, it always does, but the sad periods in between take too much from God’s children. He wants to save them from this more and more, but He cannot do it unless they are willing to co-operate in a definite way!
Next time the enemy approaches, that enemy of sadness, promise that you will hold on steadily, even if mechanically, to the Name of the Christ for one half day. It can make it impossible for that sadness to advance. You are not to feel God for that half day, because when in that condition you are only conscious of His absence. But if you persistently keep the name of the Christ in your mind, it may be just parrot fashion, if you have the will to do this He could save you always. It won't be easy. Some have tried it already, but it can be done. Think then what it means; instead of days of depression the enemy is routed in a few hours.
Remove the brambles in your way; tackle them boldly; cut them down so that you may go forward, for a little way anyhow, with a clear path before you. There is magic in the Name of the Christ. It can charm anything and everything away. It can also attract all the things of beauty and of gladness to you; attract them and bind them to your side. Try and remember more in the days to come the Loving Heart of your Saviour and the grief that your sadness brings to Him; to the Tender Father whose only wish is to lift you out of trouble and to place you on that high plateau of serenity with the spirit within.
Winter fogs do not last and neither, thank God, do the fogs of the physical mind block out the brightness of God's Face for long. It is sufficient for you to wish to love God for the protection to be complete. Start each new week by putting aside all the sorrows of the old. Start each new day commending yourself to God and thinking that this day is going to be better than the last. Do that every day, and if some of the days don't respond quite as much as they should, do not lose heart. Tomorrow will be better! The days are going to be better in a way you little understand; better and brighter and more alike to the things that are of the Spirit, for sorrow has no place there. The Spirits just gather up the gold that the mould of sorrow has brought to the surface and with this treasure go on their way rejoicing, regretting nothing, hoping all things, and, finally, reaping that which was sown in ignorance and in darkness.
God works out His plans and so the Spirits, as tillers of the soil, by their efforts bring forth fruit in due season. But before the tree can produce fruit it has to be cared for and watered and pruned, so that when the time of gathering in arrives the fruit may be found sound and ripe. God gathers you under His out-spread-Wings; these Wings which are even as the Great Comforter, embracing all things, both the good and that which could not quite come up to the standard of being good; over-reaching all and beautifying it, so that at last you see the God in it.
Keep the flag high for a little while longer. Then you will find the standard on which it is hung so firmly embedded in the soil that it will not need a steadying hand to hold it.