Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Day of Fasting

The last few days I have thought a lot about a favorite story of mine. A missionary serving in Tonga was riding in a small boat in the Pacific Ocean when a raging storm blew in. The winds became boisterous and the waves rough and large. Despite the prayers and pleadings of this missionary, he was thrown overboard into the raging ocean. He describes the panic he felt as he realized he was alone, fighting for his life in this angry sea. He kept thinking "This can't be! This isn't true! I'm a missionary; this isn't supposed to happen!" And then he realized he would drown if he didn't start to swim. As he fought to reach land he cried out to the Lord, "Master, help me! Oh please help me!" As he swam he felt great peace, comfort and strength beyond his own. He eventually reached land was rescued by some local islanders. He concludes his account by saying "I have thought a lot about that experience. God was with us. He saved us. He could have brought us through the storm unscathed and landed us safely in our home port. But for some reason, He chose otherwise. I have heard it said that sometimes the Lord calms the storm, and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child." (John H. Groberg, The Other Side of Heaven, pg. 5)

Danny is in the middle of a raging storm right now. The physical and emotional pain he is experiencing threatens to drown him. While I believe that God does have the power to miraculously heal him and calm this "storm", a more likely scenario is that He will use this power to calm Danny--to bring him the peace, comfort and strength he needs to endure this trial. My prayers today (and everyday for that matter) include pleas for the success of his surgery, reduced scarring and so on, but mostly that he will be filled with peace and comfort. That even in the midst of all his suffering, he can feel Heavenly Father's love for him and our love for him. I know that this is possible because I have felt it in my own life as I have faced my own storms.

I know there is power in uniting our faith in Danny's behalf. As a community of his family and friends, we come from diverse religious backgrounds, but I know that the Lord accepts the offering that each of us has to give. This burden is too great for Danny to carry alone, but if we can each take a small piece and carry it for him, collectively we can do this.



  1. Though we have not known Danny long, we do know that he is a special person to many people. Both he and his family are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless.

    Jeff and Rea Czernicki

  2. Thanks for the updates on Danny! He's in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. I read this quote on a blog I follow about a Sweet and precious little Angel that was called home way to early due to a congenital heart disease that she was born with.. Immediatly after reading it I feel in love with it so I just wanted to share. I hope you don't mind?

    "Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order to be tested, we must sometimes face challenges and difficulties. At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel's end—no dawn to break the night's darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea 'Is there no balm in Gilead?' (Jeremiah 8:22). We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone. If you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face."

    Thomas S. Monson, "Looking Back and Moving Forward," Ensign, May 2008, 90

    Emily :)

  4. I found myself very torn this afternoon talking to Danny's attendant for the last few days, 'Jesse'. He mentioned what an "awesome support network" Danny has in friends and family. That many in the Burn Unit have never seen as many visitors as Danny has had in the last 5 days. He likened it to "some people must think this is a psych ward as little as they come to visit." So, I found myself extremely proud on one hand to be part of that support network and extremely sad on the other hand for all these other burn victims that don't have such a network. I'm thankful for all the time so many have given to visit Danny and am confident that will continue over the next two months. I'm proud I share so many of the same friends as Danny - it may be a hard group to break into, but strong as any family once you're in.

  5. It's hard to know whether Heavenly Father stops certain things from happening and allows others, or if he simply lets life run it's course. However, he is there for us when these painful things happen and most people have their family and friends to carry them as well. When we came to this earth we knew that we would face trials and go through painful experiences. I'm glad that Danny has such an amazing support system. He is one of the strongest men I know physically, and I know that he will prove to be emotionally strong as well. He will get through this.