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Emily Freeman

September 19, 2011

In August of this past year, my husband, Greg, felt a prompting that it was time for him to find another job. It was a prompting he pondered over for many months. It wasn’t that the prompting wasn’t clear, because it was. The trouble was that the prompting didn’t include what he should do instead. So, in essence, he was walking away from security into a situation of unknowns.

What was he to do?

Finally a chain of unsettling events led to unemployment. There was peace within that moment that the right decision had been made, and yet a great deal of uncertainty filled our home. Days turned into weeks—and then months—without a job. Priesthood blessings were clear, “The Lord has something in mind for you; wait.”

Sometimes waiting is hard. I have noticed that when people talk about experiences like this, they speak primarily about the miracle, the resolution, the conclusion. They testify of what happened at the end. But what happens in the middle? How are you supposed to get through the period of waiting? Is there something you should be doing in the middle moments to prepare for the miracle at the end?

I love the account recorded in Joshua chapter three. This chapter does not testify of the miracle of the people crossing the river Jordan ––that takes place in chapter four. This chapter is the middle of the experience, and that is exactly why I like it so much. It describes what we should do in the middle moments of our lives.

Joshua’s people were in a situation much like Greg’s. They knew where they had come from, but weren’t sure how they were going to get where they were supposed to be. I am sure their days were filled with prayer. I feel confident that they wrestled with the Spirit for understanding. Finally Joshua gathered the people together next to the river Jordan. It was clear that they couldn’t go back where they had come from, and yet there was a huge obstacle right in front of them preventing them from going forward.

What were they to do?

In that period of waiting, Joshua gave three important instructions that can help each of us get through the middle moments of our lives. First he said, “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5). The first lesson for the middle moments of our lives is to believe in a God who will do wonders in our behalf.

Then the Lord spoke to Joshua and said, “This day will I begin to magnify thee . . . I will be with thee” (Joshua 3:7). One thing I have noticed about the journeys recorded in the scriptures is that each has two common themes ––the Lord strengthens, or magnifies, the people to be equal to the task, and He always, always, travels with them.  

The last lesson we learn from Joshua is found in verse 10. Joshua told the people that if they took note of what happened they would know that a living God was aware of them, and that He would deliver them “without fail” (Joshua 3:10).

As we journey through the middle moments of our lives, it will help if we remember these lessons. Sometimes we have to begin the journey without a complete understanding of what is about to come to pass. Sometimes we have to step into a situation that seems overwhelming, and we often have to stand still in that situation before the answer comes. During those moments we must remember that ours is a living God, a God of wonders, who will travel with us through every journey, and who has promised to deliver us “without fail.” 

Great blessings will come to us if we can learn to watch for God’s wonders and to watch for the moments when we are magnified and strengthened along the way. It is in those tender moments that our testimony is forged. The scriptures are clear––it is not the miracle or the destination that becomes the testimony. Rather, it is within the moments that precede the miracle that a lasting relationship with the Savior is formed. Laman and Lemuel reached the promised land just like Nephi did. At first glance it would seem that all three experienced the miracle. But only one had come to know the Savior within the journey. So was the miracle the destination, or did the miracle take place somewhere along the way?

As Greg and I have gone through the ups and downs of this year, I have started keeping a journal of what is happening in the middle moments, because I am learning that these moments will become the most significant part of our journey. I am trying to write down the moments when we witness the wonders of the Lord around us, the tender mercies, the everyday miracles. I am recording the moments when we are magnified and strengthened and the moments when we feel Him with us along the way.

I am learning to understand that maybe the miracle is not the destination after all.

Instead, it is the journey.