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Greetings Friends, 

I was singing the words of a chorus yesterday. I am sure you have sung them as well. “You are perfect in all of Your ways, You are perfect in all of Your ways, You are perfect in all of Your ways – to us.” I wondered, even as I sang: Do I really believe these words, or, do I sing it out of some externally imposed, theological obligation?  Is it just a Christian mantra, sung by rote, without any penetrating thought? Do I sing them as an attempt to convince myself of their truth? Wanting to be neither heretical nor hypocritical, I decided to camp on those words for a while, and examine my own heart. How can I be integral when I sing this chorus? On Friday, a beautiful young lady, filled with the love and joy of Jesus, lost control of her vehicle, skidded across the median just east of Spruce Grove, colliding with another vehicle.  It claimed her life at twenty-one years of age. “You are perfect in all of Your ways.” While I am sitting in comfort writing this short article, in countries like Viet Nam, Eritrea, Iraq and elsewhere, strong, stalwart believers are being martyred for their Christian convictions. Really? “You are perfect in all your ways.” You get the point. I could spend the rest of today exposing circumstances that seem to defy the idea of a God working perfectly behind the scenes. In our finitude, if we are totally honest, we struggle to see perfection in the unfolding of the events of our life, and in the calamity of others. In an appreciable way, our ministries are actually legitimized by the brokenness and glaring imperfections of life.  Our questions are big, and they are justified, but that’s ONLY from our finitude. Isn’t this the essence of our ‘faith’? Isn’t it a firm belief ‘in-spite-of.’   Seeing God as perfect in ‘all of His ways,’ will not come through education, self-persuasion or ignoring of reality.  It is receiving a small dose of ‘God vision’, the ability to live amidst the multitudinous, temporal, inexplicable contradictions of life, whilst perceiving that the eternal picture is perfect and God does ALL things well. The closer we walk to the heart of God, the keener that ‘God vision’ becomes. “You are perfect in all of Your ways,” I can’t sing those words from the perspective of my limited, finite understanding. In that incomplete context, they seem to defy logic and appear almost absurd.   If these words are to be a true, legitimate expression of my personal conviction, they must be sung from the perspective of faith. “Faith is living in the temporal with an eternal perspective.” Unless I can solidly grasp this concept, my life will be a constant conflict between what I profess and what I observe. When circumstances appear to be entirely contrary to my definition of perfect, I must choose to go to the place of faith, to walk by faith and not by sight. Faith is like a pair of eye glasses allowing us to process what we see through eternal lenses. “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1“For now we see through a glass, darkly.”  1 Corinthians 13:12 “For we know that all things work together for good when we love God and are called to His purposes.” Romans 8:28 Love you all and praying for you all.

Rev. Al Downey

Pastoral Care Coordinator


Markham Crescent

Sherwood Park, AB T8A 3T3