Every Christmas season we usually plan a few special Bridges shows. Several years ago, we had five artists scheduled to come to the studio to do Christmas music. The entire WHTN team was excited to start the holiday season on such a festive note.

Just a couple of days before we were scheduled to film my family received some devastating news. My mother in-law had become very ill, and the prognosis wasn’t good. Of course, my family packed up as quickly as we could to get to the hospital in Michigan.

The News was Grim

The Drs were kind, but the news was grim. We prayed and trusted our Sovereign God. In just a few hours my beloved mother-in-law passed away. We were thankful we made it to Michigan in time to give hugs and say our goodbyes – this side of Heaven.

When I called the WHTN studio to let my co-workers know – they offered prayer, support, and condolences. The team was also quick to call our Bridges guests and let them know that the holiday filming in the studio was canceled. Of course, our guests were gracious and understanding. They too, offered prayer, support, and condolences. I am so thankful for the support and strength of the community of faith.

Instead of the usual Christmas festivities, my family was processing loss and experiencing grief. As I look back so many of the details are a blur. But what I remember clearly is the great outpouring of love. The phone calls, the texts, and the cards arrived at just the right time.

Not One More Minute

Just when I felt like I couldn’t handle one more minute someone would call or text. It was most assuredly a fulfilling of the scripture:

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Romans 12:15 ESV

Since that time, I am reminded that during the holiday season there are those who are grieving. There are also families who are struggling financially, others who feel forgotten, and many other scenarios that leave people unable to celebrate fully. Our love and compassion for others is a powerful witness.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:35 ESV

As followers of Christ, it’s our reasonable service to be considerate of others. It’s an honor for us to pray for one another – and to help when and where we can. If you know of a family that is in need this season and you can help, by all means do so. This brings honor to God and fulfills scripture.

We Need the Sacred Reminder

Of course, this doesn’t mean we should forgo the Christmas festivities altogether.  It’s important to celebrate the birth and life of Christ. We need the sacred reminder that God is with us.

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel
    which means ‘God is with us.’”

Matthew 1:23 NLT

The good news is that God is with us. He is with us in our celebrations and in the hard seasons of our lives.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of and miss my mother in-law. I am forever grateful that in our season of loss others took time from their Christmas celebrations to pray and offer support.

Today’s Secret from the Studio – whether you are in a season of loss or celebration He is God with us and that is the best news at any time of year.

Monica Schmelter, host of Bridges on Christian Television Network, is a recovered fixer and people pleaser.  Now, chocolate and grace fill her happy space. Watch Bridges on demand at monicaschmelter.com

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