A Family Update

I was asked to give an update on my family situation to the staff of Park Community Church. For those who don’t know, my family has been going through a two-plus-year ordeal with our youngest son’s health. I’m reproducing for you, my readers, what I shared with Park’s staff. Please keep our little man in your prayers.

Lukas had just finished a two-year battle with leukemia on June 18. It was a wonderful moment when he got to ring the bell at Lurie Children’s Hospital, celebrating the fact that he had finished his chemo. Then, a couple weeks later, Aliza and I noticed that his left eye was bulging. We took him in and were sad to discover that his leukemia had returned, and had formed a mass behind his eye. This time, it was in his central nervous system–which is rare but not as bad as a relapse could have been.
The good news is this: God is gracious. He has started chemo again, and the mass behind his eye is gone. In fact, the latest test showed that the leukemia is gone again! However, he still needs to finish a two-year protocol involving chemo and radiation of his brain. His protocol also involves steroids, which mess with his personality and put him in a bad mood.
So that is our situation. Our son is sick for the second time. We don’t know what is going to happen, and there is a lot of uncertainty swirling around in our family’s life right now. But here is the great news: the things we are certain about vastly outweigh the uncertainty. Here’s what we know for certain at this time:
  1. The Lord Jesus is still on His throne (Matt. 28:18-20) and God is sovereignly working out this situation for ultimate good, to conform us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-30).
  2. God the Father still loves us in Christ, (Rom. 8:39) and while this trial is testing our faith, we know His plan is good. This hasn’t caught him off guard; He will finish the work He has begun in us (Phil. 1:6).
  3. Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit from the Father, and He is in us (John 14:17) and is comforting us and giving us strength and peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:7).
It can be hard to say whether something like this is “from” God or the devil. Sickness is a result of the fall. And Satan wants to use it to sift us and destroy our faith (Luke 22:31). But these are exactly the kind of circumstances that God uses to show us our weakness and to make His strength perfect in us (2 Cor. 12:9). And that’s exactly what He has been doing! Satan and God wins loses every time.
Practically speaking, we have been super grateful to everyone who has asked how they can help us during this time. [One woman from church] is coordinating our childcare. And [another] is coordinating our help and has set up an e-mail account, settecasefamilyhelp@gmail.com, to take requests from people who want to help. We have been floored by the outpouring of support and prayer–though not surprised, because this is exactly what Scripture says the church does (John 13:35, cf. Jas. 2:16).
Please keep our little guy in your prayers, and pray for Aliza and me too, that we would not waste this time but would glorify Jesus more than we ever have before through this. Thank you!
Follow our hashtags on Facebook, #PrayForLukas and #LukeyWah, to stay up to date. My wife updates regularly at http://prayforlukas.wordpress.com.
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Author: Joel Settecase

Joel Settecase has served in pastoral and teaching roles at Grace Pointe Church in Plainfield, IL, as well as Chicago Hope Academy and Park Community Church in Chicago. He is the author of the New Covenant Catechism for Little Ones and the Settecase Student Ministry Learning Standards, and he has been blogging on ministry and apologetics since 2013. Joel is the proud husband of Aliza and father of three children.

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