Stunned to silence were we with many others throughout the Reformed community, when the news first reached us that God in his inscrutable wisdom had taken to himself a man who by his preaching had won our hearts.
We pondered the ways of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His great and gracious will. We prayed for his loved ones from whose side he was so suddenly wrenched; we prayed for the work which he loved so much and did so well; we prayed for those uncounted multitudes to whom he ministered with all that he had received from his Lord; we prayed for the committee who supervised his work and, last but by no means least, for his chosen successor to the high calling of proclaiming the living God and the living Christ and the living Word by means of the radio.
But in our prayers we were soon surprised by joy…
We were surprised by the joy which comes from being re. minded of the goodness of our God who had given Peter H. Eldersveld to the church for the radio ministry in such a critical and confusing time as this. It was the joy which so spilled over our lips that we could say, “We thank thee, O gracious Father, for all that thou hast given us for these years in this man and his ministry.”
Such praying is far removed from glorying in a man. It is a glorying in our heavenly Father who, “having purposed to call and gather a Church out of the corrupt race of men unto life eternal, as a particular favor uses the ministry of men for this work.” It is this favor of the Lord which we saw shining in the life and labor of our dear, departed
brother. Reflecting on what he had said and done to complete his ministry, we were reminded of the Scripture which says, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Ps. 68:11 KJV). In that great company we had been blessed by the ministry of a great one, Peter H. Eldersveld. And believing that the Lord who takes away always also gives, our hearts strengthened themselves in the word of promise which he had so faithfully preached. “For, all flesh is as grass, and all the Bower thereof as the Bower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower falleth: but the word of the Lord abideth for ever. And this is the word of good tidings which was preached unto us” (I Peter 10:24,25).
We of Reformed Fellowship Inc. join with thousands to give thanks to God for this man and the word which he brought. We offer our loving and prayerful sympathy to his widow, children, mother and other relatives. We rejoice that God in his goodness has provided an able successor in the Rev. Dr. Joel H. Nederhood. For his work, as for that of his gifted predecessor in the past, our prayers will rise to heaven that our sovereign God of salvation may continue through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Sorely will we miss Dr. Eldersveld whose friendship was so winning and whose preaching of the infallible Word was so convincing. But our sorrow is overwhelmed with the gladness of having had him for a while. From the heart, therefore, we say, “Lord, truly we thank thee for him and for what he has meant to the Back-to-God Hour throughout these years!”