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Words of Encouragement for Natural Disasters

Copyright Dr. Joel Akande, January 2011

As a medical doctor, I have always wondered why human beings are so vulnerable to naturally occurring events including disasters and non-calamities. Yet, these events such as floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, fires, whirlwinds, heavy snowfalls or unrelenting Sun irradiation are inevitable on earth. Often these events wreck disasters on human beings.  Ironic as it may seem, on the other hands, what appears to be one disaster may be a great benefit to the earth in short and long terms. The earth requires rejuvenation and renewal from time to time. The earth make corrections to human misuse, re-balances itself, refine and re-tune the environment and those that live in it (earth). Sadly, these "corrections" bring pain and suffering to those affected. 

However, mankind  must continue the forward march, coping with strength and adjusting to the conditions that nature is throwing at us. In all these, one must not lose sight of human fortitude to overcome adversities. So, if  your close ones are affected by flood, draw comfort from hope that you will recover and turn the corner for the better. Hard times do not last for ever.  One hope and pray that you will not be overwhelmed beyond what you can bear by natural or man-made events.

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I remember saying, sometimes ago, to some audience that “Human wisdom is very limited. We can help but we cannot change an event which is set to be in time”.  This quote by my reasoning, perhaps explains the human vulnerability: The limited human wisdom cannot explain so many things that befall us: good or bad.

When natural calamities do happen, how can one cope with such a ferocious unleashing of natural forces on us? Well, maybe we should take solace in the words of  Myla Kabat-Zinn:

“Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart”.

And  Maxwell Maltz:  “We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve”.

(Read Poems of Encouragement for Natural and Man-Made Disasters)

The pain of hardship might be lessened if we also remember the words of Billy Graham:

“We cannot truly face life until we face the fact that it will be taken away from us.”

As for me, I have often wondered aloud that nothing seem to have prepared me for the journey through life, not even my education: The pain, the disappointments, the failings, the trial and errors, bewilderments at events, human and natural behaviours and many of such. Through it all, I have found that faith, endurance, hard work, unrelenting search for solutions, prayer, healthy living, divine and human help had always seen me through difficult times.

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Yet, in all these, life must continue for the counsel of Norman Vincent Peale, springs to mind thus:  Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do”.

In the same way, Napoleon Hill’s wise words are a pearl in adverse situations.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit”.

Through all these decades of being on earth, I have come to realize that indeed, there is time for everything regardless of our anxieties about a matter: a fact that the ancients have known for a very long time. Through it all, the Bible assured us: to hold steadfast, be full of courage, overcome adversity, retain our hope for God is our shield and helper even though for the moment, as the Psalmist wrote: We may be “passing though the valley... and  shadow of death”. Calamities can cause anxiety and helplessess. Therefore, take heart; be strong in the face of your adversity.  May God comfort those affected, bereaved by losses, and restore hope to the despairing.

Keep safe and secure. Seek and heed advanced warnings before terrifying time comes. Ask neighbours and friends for help when it does come, for bad times will soon pass away... 
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