As part of our “For Such a Time as This” series, we will be interviewing individuals from our Calvary community about how Jesus is working in their life and in the lives of those around them through this time of pandemic. Each week we will interview someone new, based on the reflection questions provided by our teaching team in the previous blogpost.
Say hello to Elden Wiebe! Elden has been married to Joy for (almost) 36 years. They have two grown children, Nelson and Lauren, and three grandchildren, Clara (5), Verity (3), and James (3 months). He loves being a grandparent! Elden has worked at The King’s University as an Associate Professor of Management for the last 11 years, and this year has been on a sabbatical. He will return to teaching in the Fall, and since it looks like he will be required to teach online, he’s preparing by taking some short online courses on how to teach online. ☺
Elden enjoys cycling in the river valley parks, making wine at home, and watching Netflix, especially shows from other cultures (Scandinavian most recently). He also enjoys gardening and walking in the Mill Creek Ravine with Joy. Since the start of mass gathering restrictions, Elden has missed his weekly walk to Calvary each Sunday, which he has done every Sunday since he began attending about 10 years ago. He also misses just being with the congregation of followers of Jesus Christ, worshipping Him together, and having the Lord impact him in some way through the Scriptures and the sermon. Thank you, Elden, for sharing your heart, and your experiences with Jesus during “such a time as this!”
Who are your enemies today?
My biggest enemy is my wife’s illness. Joy has been dealing with fibromyalgia for many years. Compounding this problem, she sustained two concussions, both through freakish accidents (one was a bicycle accident and the other a ball from a ball-thrower for dogs hit her in the back of the head). She is currently also dealing with drug withdrawal as she slowly tapers off a ‘benzo’ drug. She is constantly in pain (good or bad days are a matter of degree of pain, not lack of pain), often sleeps terribly which makes it even more difficult to cope, and works so hard to fight through it all. It is so very difficult for her. By extension, it is difficult for me too. I tend to get emotionally affected to the extent that I often feel numb, and it can be hard to function at times. When this happens I tend to withdraw, which of course does not help Joy at all!
In times such as this, what are you seeking most? How does your heart respond when you listen for God’s call?
I often find myself asking, ‘How long, O Lord?’ This has got to stop! I have heard Him say ‘endure’ just when I have wanted to give up. I have heard Him say ‘persevere’, again, when I felt like giving up. I have heard Him say you are ‘hard pressed from every side, but not crushed’ (2 Corinthians 4:8). I have heard him say that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5). And He has also told me to stop complaining (Isaiah 29:22-24, Isaiah 40:27-31, 1 Corinthians 10: 6-13, Philippians 2:12-16). I want relief and I want healing for Joy, but the Lord says ‘wait’ and He says ‘trust Me’. Early in the new year He provided these words: “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland…to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” (Isaiah 43:19-21). I have experienced that fresh water in this wasteland of illness and suffering (such as the Scriptures above, or when Greg and Delores came by with a fantastic loaf of sourdough bread! Thank you so much!). I also now find myself looking for those streams of fresh water, really trying to be tuned into what God provides. And I thank the Lord when I do encounter them. Often I respond to God’s call and Word with weeping at the goodness of the Lord and his immense undeserved and faithful grace. This is what keeps me hopeful, patient, enduring, even if at times I struggle.
Read the blogpost these questions were taken from here. Please feel free to encourage Elden or share your own reflections on these questions in the comments below!