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 MARCH - APRIL 2004
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COVER STORY: Dr. Carrie Carter - What Happens when the Doctor Becomes Ill?
5 Things You Should Know About Chronic Illness on the Job
Is it Safe to Buy Medication Online?
The Process Road
Lessons from the River
Is a Cruise for You?
The Lord Will Go Before You
You Hurt My Feelings!
What's in Your Handbag?
Effective Spring Cleaning with a Chronic Illness
But You Look So Good!
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: Spiritual Sunlight for the Weary
Ask the Doc
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Strength in the Shadows
March and April are wonderful months. St. Patrick's Day and Easter bring cheerful images of pastel colors and sunshine. The bright, Kelly green, Irish shamrock is not just about leprechauns and good luck. The shamrock represents God in three persons - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Even the "lion and lamb" idea of March winds comes from scriptural references in the book of Revelation. April is a great relief to the winds of March. The light rain showers refresh us and settle the land making it ready for the new birth about to take place.

When the sun breaks through the clouds after an April shower, another God-given image - the rainbow - appears. It is an awe-inspiring moment when we first see a rainbow. As it appears in the sky in colorful transparent splendor, we know that God is looking at it too and is remembering His promise to us. He has given the rainbow to us as a sign - not that He might forget His promises, but to reassure us that He remembers.

As we go about our daily lives trying to meet the heavy demands of caregiving, it helps to have clear reminders of God's love and attention. The suffering that oppresses our families can drown our cheerfulness. I remember a particularly bad flare-up in my husband's illness when severe leg cramps would disable him and leave his legs sore and painful for days. The seizures were frightening, especially to my children, and it was hard to remain calm even though I knew that the episodes were not life-threatening.

In situations like this, our hearts beg God to remove our loved one's illness even while our heads know that it will not go away. There is a final image of April that enables us to cope with this reality. The Easter lily reminds us that we have a risen Savior who has defeated suffering and death. He has promised us the same victory if we are faithful to Him. It is a promise filled with hope, joy and reward. So, during March and April, let the images of shamrocks, rainbows and lilies reassure you of God's presence and abiding love.

Lora Chandler has been in a care giving role since 1982 when her husband began his life-long struggle with pain due to a bone disease. Lora welcomes your comments at lorac@yucca.net.

 


This article was featured in our March/April 2004 issue.
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