Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

The Second Mile

1 Nephi 20:21 - 2 Nephi 1:25

Sometimes life doesn't go the way we plan.

In those moments when we are heart set on what we've designed and dreamed up and imagined, it's hard to remember His design.

Course alterations can be painful.

It's hard endure to the end, when the end seems no where in sight.

When waiting days become longer instead of shorter.

When you've said, I only just have to go this far, and when you get there you find you unexpectedly have to go just one more bit.

A second mile.

The first mile is what is expected.

All that's expected.

The second mile is defined as a deed of charity or kindness beyond the demands of duty.

Sometimes God asks us to go the second mile.  To go without, to give up our design for His, to let our heart endure and stretch and grow even if it requires aching.

Sometimes God asks for service that extends beyond duty.

Isn't that what charity is?

Service that extends beyond duty?

The second mile.

"And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."  (Matthew 5:41)

If those are His words, and that is the sermon of His life, then the promise is clear: We won't walk the second mile alone.

My thoughts are full of altered plans, and changed courses, and second miles.

Of trusting His design.

In my musing I am reminded of the lyrics to a favorite song

Send some rain, would You send some rain? 'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade

Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud? Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid But maybe not, not today Maybe You'll provide in other ways And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You With gratitude For lessons learned in how to thirst for You How to bless the very sun that warms our face If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread Bless our bodies, keep our children fed Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight

Wrap us up and warm us through Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time Or maybe not, not today Maybe You'll provide in other ways And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You With gratitude A lesson learned to hunger after You That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between What we want and what we really need (Gratitude, Nicole Nordeman)

In my pondering I realize it is more than just agreeing to walk the second mile ...to accept the altered course ...to follow His design...

it is in finding the gratitude for the new opportunity that we experience the greatest growth.

If the first step of the second mile begins with gratitude, then the journey will be filled with what we really need...in spite of what we think we want.

Can a heart really experience gratitude in the moment when it is required to sacrifice its want for His need?

This gratitude is the fruit born of seeds planted in the soil of trust

...trust in the belief that "all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knowteth all things."  (2 Nephi 2:24)

Sometimes life doesn't go the way we plan.

And that's OK.

In those moments we must trust the design of Him who Knoweth All Things and then take the first step of that second mile.

In gratitude.

Emily Freeman