Hope is the expectation of a better future. When pain comes, the question of hope moves to the forefront. We've all placed our hope somewhere, but is that a trustworthy place? Is our confidence well-founded? Psalm 39:7 says, "And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you." Am I waiting for hope to arrive, when the fullness of hope is already here? Is there anyone more trustworthy than the Lord? Has He ever broken even one of His promises? Doesn't He alone offer the "expectation of better future" in Christ?
I've been incredibly impressed with Luke's confidence that his future in heaven with Jesus will be better than his life here on earth. He is teaching me about hope. I'm learning that I might SAY that might hope is in Jesus, but often times I LIVE like it's elsewhere. Romans 12:12 says, "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." It is SO difficult to "be patient in tribulation." You want tribulation to be over as soon as possible. How in the world do you find patience in the midst of pain? You "rejoice in hope," and you "remain constant in prayer." Constant. In. Prayer.
Here are some specific ways we are praying for Luke:
1) Luke has now completed his 3rd cycle of his new treatment. His blood counts have remained strong, so he has not had any precautionary trips to the ER. We are praying that this will continue, because (obviously) his strong preference is to be at home.
2) Luke has been struggling with dizziness, especially when he is doing physical therapy. This is a common side effect of chemotherapy. We're praying for the dizziness to go away so Luke can move forward with his rehab.
3) Luke is all set for Work Crew from mid-July to early August at TimberWolf Lake. We are praying that he will have the energy (and no dizziness!) to have a great experience, with no visits to the hospital during his session.
4) Luke will receive one more cycle (21 days) and then his next scans will take place on June 8th. His previous scan showed one remaining tumor, about the size of a silver dollar, on one of his lungs. We continue to pray for no cancer remaining in Luke's body, and that it would never come back. Zero cancer, gone forever.
As always, many of you have been asking if there's anything you can do to help. As always, the prayers mean the most. We are so humbled by the sheer number of people who are praying for Luke on a daily basis. Thank you. As always, Luke loves visitors. Please contact me if you'd like to come hang out (and drubbed in a card game) with Luke. He perks up whenever people come over. Finally, as always, the gifts cards you have provided have been a huge blessing. The Speedway gas cards help us navigate the trips back and forth to Grand Rapids, the Chick Fil A and Subway and Cracker Barrel (see photo!) cards allow Luke to grab some food, and the Amazon cards and pre-paid Visa cards enable Luke to order cool things for himself and for his friends. Thank you so much.
Our prayer remains the same. We can't stop, WON'T stop praying, for God to heal our boy. (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay, & Luke)