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Just last week, I went through a rollercoaster week in terms of emotions.

It began with a very encouraging and fruitful rehearsal for the Vicar’s Institution and Induction Service with all of the leaders involved on Tuesday night. Everyone was so excited and focused on their tasks at hand that it could only be God’s Spirit inspiring and leading all of us.

The following evening, my mother-in-law passed away. She had been gravely ill for some time and we were very thankful that she was able to go to be with Christ peacefully. Yet the following three days of wake and funeral services brought home to our hearts how dearly we missed her.

Immediately following our period of grieving was a day of rejoicing at my Institution and Induction as the Vicar of Church of the Ascension. This day is not only significant for me but for the entire church as well because we, as God’s community, received God’s fresh commission and blessing upon us for the journey ahead.

It was truly a week of 喜怒哀乐 (happiness, anger, sadness and joy; it roughly means to experience all the different types of human emotions within a period of time).

Yet what I have learnt through such a journey of emotional turbulence is that God is with us through all that we experience!

Firstly, God remembers our times of sadness and pain. He is with us through such times and we do not grieve alone. David writes in Psalm 56:8:

You have counted up my groaning; put my tears into your bottle; are they not written in your book?

Also, in our times of anger and frustration, God tells us to restrain ourselves and keep from sinning, “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:20) We are reminded that we can only do so by the Spirit’s help in our lives.

Finally, in our times of joy, we are made aware of the goodness and blessings of God in our lives which enables us to rejoice! That is why Mary exclaims:

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.” (Luke 1:46-48)

Our emotions remind us of God’s blessings in our lives and our need to continually depend on him. They are therefore God’s gifts to us to help us remember what a good and faithful God we serve. Let’s not despise or hide our emotions but seek the Lord in the midst of how we feel!

Rev Ian